By Gisele Shaw
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:00 pm ·  1 Comment
In an effort to promote international understanding, economic cooperation and friendship, the mayors of the Town of Oakville and the City of Huai’an, China signed a declaration officially establishing a sister city relationship.
“This relationship provides great insight into new and shared economic industries,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “By becoming sister cities we will be able to develop, share and explore these economic opportunities in both of our cities and attract investment from Huai’an and other areas of China.”
In 2012, the Mayor and the town’s Director of Economic Development, Dorothy St. George, participated in a trade mission to establish business relationships and explore opportunities for economic development with China, and a number of initiatives have since developed including: implementing an Oakville-China Business Opportunities Forum for local companies; hosting delegations from China including two from the City of Huai’an; creating an Oakville-Chinese Business Association in the Town of Oakville; and following up with the City of Huai’an’s letter of intent to form the sister city relationship.
Mayor Burton signed the sister city agreement during his trip to China this June with Sheridan College President, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. While in China, Dr. Zabudsky signed a training agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Finance University, which will promote educational visits and exchanges involving students and faculty from both institutions.
Moving forward, Oakville and Huai’an will continue to connect and visit one another to establish business relationships and explore economic development opportunities.
As a next step, the Town of Oakville’s Economic Development department is working with the Oakville Chinese Business Association and the Confederation of Greater Toronto Business Association to provide local companies an opportunity to join other businesses from the Greater Toronto Area on a trade mission to China this fall which will include a visit to sister cities. Businesses interested in more information on cost and itinerary details are welcome to attend an information session at Town Hall on Tuesday, September 1 from 8 a.m to 9:30 a.m. RSVP Victoria Stasiuk, senior economic development officer, at 905-845-6601, ext.3367.
Huai’an is the Town of Oakville’s third sister city along with Dorval, Quebec and Neyagawa, Japan. Oakville signed declarations officially linking the Town of Oakville and Neyagawa, Japan in 1984, and with Dorval, Quebec in 1957.
For more information on Oakville’s sister cities visit oakville.ca.