Cork City received a major prestigious award from the Chinese Government today at the China International Friendship Cities Conference 2016 in Chongqing, China. The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Des Cahill, travelled to Chongqing to participate in the Conference at the invitation of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and he also received the Friendship City Award for Exchanges and Cooperation with China, from Mr. Qing Boming, Secretary General of China International Friendship Cities Association on behalf of the people of Cork.
The Lord Mayor said:
“This prestigious honour is particularly satisfying as Cork was one of only three cities from the Shanghai’s 85 Sister Cities to be nominated for an award. Coming after the very successful 10th Anniversary celebration of the Sister City relationship in 2015, it has strengthened the bonds between Cork and one of the great World Cities, Shanghai.”
The Lord Mayor was accompanied by Mr. John Hayes from the Corporate and External Affairs Directorate of Cork City Council and Ms. Aoife Fleming, Second Secretary, Embassy of Ireland, Beijing. The Cork delegation was also joined by Mr. Yu Qiang and Ms. Shao Yihe of the European and African Division of Shanghai’s Municipal Foreign Affairs Office.
The Lord Mayor further noted:
“It is wonderful to be in Chongqing to receive this award, which recognises the partnership between Shanghai and its Sister City, Cork, over the past 14 years. This is testament to the many organisations and individuals that have made this relationship work for the benefit of the citizens in both cities. I have been told that Shanghai nominated Cork for this major Cork because Shanghai and Cork City is the first pairing of Sister Cities between China and Ireland and, since the conclusion of the Agreement between the two cities, there have been more and more bilateral visits, deepening the understanding between each other and leading to valuable exchanges in the areas of economy and trade, education, culture, local government and training, which, in turn, has contributed remarkably to the social and economic development of both cities.”
The Lord Mayor also delivered an address to the conference on City Cultural Branding in the context of China’s continuing “Opening up”. The speech was very well received by the conference delegates. While in Chongqing, the Lord Mayor also met delegations from the cities of Hangzhou and Shenzhen, both of whom have concluded Memoranda of Understanding regarding cooperation with Cork.