Newry.ie

A recent visit to Asia by a delegation from Newry has resulted in a series of co-operation agreements being signed with Changchun in Jilin province, China.

It's hoped that the agreement with Changchun, a city with a population greater than the island of Ireland (7.7M) will promote the development of economic, tourism, skills, education, trade and enterprise exchanges between Newry ctiy and Changchun.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin signs a Friendly Exchanges Agreement with Wang Junzheng, standing member of the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee, Secretary of the COC Changchun Committee to cooperate on trade, investment, research, education and culture.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin signs a Friendly Exchanges Agreement with Wang Junzheng, standing member of the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee, Secretary of the COC Changchun Committee to cooperate on trade, investment, research, education and culture.

Attending the international visit was Cllr Mark Murnin, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down Council who signed a Friendly Exchanges Agreement; Paul Convery, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce of Trade, who signed a Memorandum for Establishing Friendly Cooperative Relations with Chanchun Chamber of Commerce; Keith Kilpatrick, Director of Curriculum at Southern Regional College, who signed a Friendly Cooperation Agreement with Chanchun Vocational College, and Yan Liu, Director of Confucius Institute at Ulster University who signed a Friendship Agreement with Jilin HuaQiao University of Foreign Languages.

The Agreements follow a 12 month period of negotiation, including meetings with Changchun leaders at the UK China Regional Leaders Summit held in Belfast in December 2017, and further communications throughout the year with Changchun Municipal Government officials, and Changchun Foreign Affairs Office, supported by the NI Bureau in China, and the Confucius Institute.

The Friendly Exchanges Agreement with Changchun builds on the Council's aim of establishing mutually beneficial exchanges with international regions that can contribute to advancing economic, tourism, skills and education development through cooperation.

The Friendship Agreement was signed between Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin and Wang Junzheng, standing member of the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee, Secretary of the COC Changchun Committee.  Speaking at the signing ceremony, Councillor Murnin said, "Securing a Friendship Agreement with Changchun is a critical step forward for the Council.  Through the exchange of information and cooperation in areas as such as trade, education, skills, tourism and culture we can together grow and develop our regions for the mutual benefit of our businesses, our communities and visitors".

As the capital of Jilin Province, Changchun is the second largest city in Northeast China and the political, economic and cultural centre of the province.

Newry Chamber President, Paul Convery signs a cooperation agreement with the Chinese City of Changchun
Newry Chamber President, Paul Convery signs a cooperation agreement with the Chinese City of Changchun

Speaking at the signing of the agreement in the city of Changchun, the President of the Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Paul Convery said:“Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade represents more than 200 businesses in the Greater Newry area. The purpose of this agreement is to jointly promote the development of economic, trade and enterprise exchanges between the City of Newry and Changchun. It covers the promotion of cooperation in a range of areas including economy, trade and technology.

“Several local businesses have key trade links with China and this agreement is an important step in our relationship building between our two countries. We hope that the agreement will result in further exchanges and provide new opportunities for our local businesses.”

At meetings following the signing ceremony, all partners outlined their commitment for long term cooperation and a return visit to the district by Changchun representatives is expected early next year.

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