Council Signs an Executive Programme of Friendly Exchanges Agreement with the City of Changchun, China
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has signed an Executive Programme of Friendly Exchanges Agreement with Changchun on an international relations visit to Changchun, China, ensuring a long term commitment for cooperation between the two regions.
The Council and college deputation was part of a larger delegation attending the 4th UK-China Regional Leaders Summit in Dalian, China.
The Agreement follows a 12 month period of negotiation, including meetings with Changchun leaders at the UK China Regional Leaders Summit held in Belfast in December 2017, and further communications throughout the year with Changchun Municipal Government officials, and Changchun Foreign Affairs Office, supported by the NI Bureau in China, and the Confucius Institute.
The Friendly Exchanges Agreement with Changchun builds on the Council's aim of establishing mutually beneficial exchanges with international regions that can contribute to advancing economic, tourism, skills and education development through cooperation.
The Friendship Agreement was signed between Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin and Wang Junzheng, standing member of the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee, Secretary of the COC Changchun Committee. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Councillor Murnin said, "Securing a Friendship Agreement with Changchun is a critical step forward for the Council. Through the exchange of information and cooperation in areas as such as trade, education, skills, tourism and culture we can together grow and develop our regions for the mutual benefit of our businesses, our communities and visitors".
Attending the international visit with the Council was Paul Convery, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce of Trade, who signed a Memorandum for Establishing Friendly Cooperative Relations with Chanchun Chamber of Commerce; Keith Kilpatrick, Director of Curriculum at Southern Regional College, who signed a Friendly Cooperation Agreement with Chanchun Vocational College, and Yan Liu, Director of Confucius Institute at Ulster University who signed a Friendship Agreement with Jilin HuaQiao University of Foreign Languages.
At meetings following the signing ceremony, all partners outlined their commitment for long term cooperation and a return visit to the district by Changchun representatives is expected early next year.