Derry set to strengthen trade links with China

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Derry set to strengthen trade links with China

The city of Dalian and Zhongshan Square, Liaoning Province, China

The city of Dalian and Zhongshan Square, Liaoning Province, China

Derry’s council is set to strengthen its trade links with a city in China as part of a push to attract future investment, it’s emerged.

The move is part of a wider strategy by Derry City and Strabane Council, which also involves building trade relations with Boston and Philadelphia.

Earlier this week a delegation, led by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh and Leas Cathoirleach of Donegal County Council visited both regions to discuss bolstering trading links between the northwest and the US.

It’s now emerged that council has now its sights set on Dalian in the Liaoning Province of China as a potential target for future trade missions.

Dalian is seen as the financial, shipping and logistics centre for Northeast Asia.

The plans were discussed at Friday afternoon’s meeting of council’s Business and Culture committee, where Stephen Gillespie, Director of Business and Culture with the council, gave an update on its International Relations Activities.

The meeting heard that council has been undertaking activities to ‘enhance its reputation and capacity to attract investment, expand business opportunity, extending the global reach of the region and its economy’.

As part of this, Mr Gillespie added that council is ‘actively developing its international connections through a range of channels and relationships such as trade missions and international activation visits’.

He continued: “These relationships need to be formalised over time and a number of activities are in the pipeline which will strengthen this.”

He added these would involve a range of partners include the Ulster University, North West Regional College (NWRC), Invest NI and ‘other bodies with shared ambitions’.

Councillors were then asked to give approval for the council to develop more formalised relationships with the City of Dalian, Laoning Province, China, which was agreed.

At the same meeting, approval was also given for council to develop and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Boston.