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Cork city buildings to be lit up for Chinese New Year

Cork City Hall, the Capitol  building on Grand Parade and 97 South Mall are to be lit up in red to celebrate Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dog – with the Chinese and Asian community in Cork.

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “The central focus of Chinese New Year celebration is family, which is a familiar theme to Irish people. We are lighting up key buildings in the city to help our Chinese friends feel part of the large Cork family. The Irish people know what it is like to spend important occasions away from our families”.

Cork began developing ties with China 16 years ago and three years later became the first Irish city to twin with a Chinese city. Now, Shanghai is a sister city of Cork and Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Wuxi are partner cities.

“Cork is a small city in a small country and we need to look outwards to develop and grow. Cork City Council’s extensive engagement with its Chinese partners is based upon a desire to learn and to broaden the horizons of both cities. This is very important in a world which seems to prefer barriers to openness. In my experience, narrow horizons lead to narrow thinking. We must all push against these trends,” the Lord Mayor said.

Chinese IT company, Huawei, which is among the top three smartphone makers in the world, has offices at the Capitol building in Cork city while Beingmate has also established offices in Mahon.  In recent years, the Beijing-based Kang family also bought the Kingsley hotel and Fota estate in Cork.

Cork City Council supports UCC’s Confucius Institute to offer student and teacher student exchanges between Cork and Chinese  primary and second level schools to further cross cultural and social understanding amongst young people. Through the Cork City LEO, it also supports SMEs who want to develop Chinese markets.

Director of Strategic Planning and Economic development,  Pat Ledwidge – who has been pivotal in developing Cork-China links, said: “Through our strong relationship with our partner cities, we have provided a bridge to China that other Cork organizations and businesses can walk over. We want to create opportunities for joint ventures in the public and private sector”.

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