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Lisburn Castlereagh: Plants the seed in China
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Lisburn Castlereagh: Plants the seed in China

January 28, 2019

A cross-party delegation from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has headed to Foshan, China to meet with government and commercial officials to establish relationships and explore the synergies between the two cities.

During a busy itinerary the cross-party delegation had introductory meetings with the Mayor of Foshan, representatives of the Foshan City Government, Foshan’s Investment Promotion Agency, Foshan’s Bureau of Tourism and leading industrial companies in the ceramic, electrical and aluminium sectors. Council officials are delighted with the interest expressed by the Chinese in the Lisburn Castlereagh area.

The Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin, leading the Council’s delegation said:  “As a council we are committed through our Economic Development Strategy to cultivate international linkages through the exploration and development of tourism and business links across the world.  We currently have established business links across Europe, the USA and Canada so the largest world market of China is our next link to forge.

“The Council was delighted to have received the invitation to visit Foshan, China to explore the options for working together as cities and share best practice.  Similar to Foshan, Lisburn Castlereagh has a strong focus on advanced manufacturing and innovations in manufacturing. This visit is enabling the Council to open the door for Lisburn Castlereagh companies to identify tourism and trade opportunities and partnerships, with scope for business to business visits to take place in the future.

“With China being a vast and dynamic market, both commercially and culturally, it is important businesses conduct research prior to entering the Chinese market. Relationship building is the key to nurture lasting partnerships in China. Creating these business linkages in advance, allows the Council to consider a possible trade mission for Lisburn Castlereagh based businesses to explore the Chinese marketplace. Some local companies have already identified China as a key export market as they continue to build their global customer base,” concluded Councillor Mackin.

The aim of the Council visit is to raise the profile of Lisburn Castlereagh internationally; and identify new mutually beneficial arrangements and relationships with other international cities in order to grow and bring wealth and investment into the City with the potential to create a working partnership through a ‘Sister Cities Agreement.’

The Mayor added: “With particular interest expressed in Hillsborough Castle, this is an opportunity for us to promote key tourist attractions to Foshan’s 7.5 million population as well as hoping to attract inward investment to the area.  We are delighted that the relationship has started off so well between the two cities. I believe this is in part to due to us both sharing the history of traditional textiles helping to build our economies – silk in Foshan and linen in Lisburn. We look forward to welcoming a Chinese Trade Mission from Foshan to Lisburn Castlereagh in the not too distant future.”