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On Wednesday 9th March 2011 the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O Connell and the Vice Mayor of Hangzhou (China), Tong Guili, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Cork and the Municipal Government of Hangzhou, China. The Memorandum was signed at a ceremony in Hangzhou at which City Manager Tim Lucey also attended.

China 2011
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O Connell and the Vice Mayor of Hangzhou (China), Tong Guili, signing a Memorandum of Understanding between Hangzhou and Cork.

Hangzhou is a core city of the Yangtze River Delta Region, and is located 180 kilometres southwest of Shanghai, a Sister City of Cork since 2005. It has a population of over 6 million people.

The Memorandum of Understanding is centered on the exchange of expertise and experiences in business, tourism, culture, sports and education between both cities. It will encourage contacts between organizations under these themes with a view to developing projects that deliver tangible benefits to the citizens of each city. 

The Lord Mayor’s delegation is also meeting local companies in Hangzhou and Shanghai to promote Cork as a destination for Chinese Foreign Direct Investment. As part of the mission it met with the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Development with a view to establishing future cooperative projects.

Following the successful Sister City agreement with Shanghai, three Chinese-owned companies in Cork are established in Cork.

The ceremony followed on from the Hangzhou-Cork Food Forum where chefs from Cork’s Farm Gate Café and the Silk Purse Restaurant at An Crúibín prepared traditional fare highlighting the best of Cork food and cooking for their Chinese counterparts.  This is the opening of a month-long Irish Food experience in Hangzhou based on the recipes of the Cork chefs, Rebecca Harte and Edward Camlin from the Farmgate Café and  Paul Lewis of The Silk Purse.

The chefs will cook at a reception in Shanghai on Thursday night next to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And will also visit local restaurants and cooking schools.

The Lord Mayor’s delegation also included Ger O’ Mahony President of Cork Chamber and Conor Healy, Chief Executive.

Lord Mayor in China
The Lord Mayor of Cork addressing an audience at the Taste of Cork event in Shanghai on 9th March 2011.

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