Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc and two city councillors are off to the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao in May, building on a friendship agreement signed when that city’s officials visited here in late November.
Leclerc will be accompanied by councillors Stacey Tyers and Brian Downie and city economic development manager Danielle Myles and in addition to visiting the city’s economic development zone, also have Beiging on their tour list.
Speaking at last night’s city council meeting, Tyers called the trip “a good opportunity” to build relationships and Downie said “he particularly wanted to go”.
The choice of which councillors to send on the trip was made by a draw from a hat, with all except councillors Lynne Christiansen and James Cordeiro putting their names in, because they had gone on a previous trip.
The city’s Chinese hosts also want a representative from the Kitselas First Nation to accompany the city delegation and also suggested Northwest Community College and the Coast Mountains School District be asked to send one representative each.
The group will be hosted for a week in May by the Qinhuangdao Foreign Affairs Office and the Qinhuangdao Economic and Techological Development Zone which will cover the expenses for three days in the east coast city of Qinhuangdao and two in Beijing, with flights to and from and any other expenses covered by those on the tour.
For the City of Terrace and Kitselas, it means meeting with planners in Qinhuangdao and learning about their progress in plans to develop a section of the Skeena Industrial Development Park purchased by a subsidiary of the econonic development from the city in 2014.
As for potential representatives of local educational institutions, it would be a chance for them to learn about the school system in China, with the hopes of student exchanges and attracting international students.
This is the fourth trip made by city officials since the deal to sell 1,186 acres of industrial park land was initially negotiated in Nov. 2013.
Last year’s friendship agreement is supposed to solidify cultural and economic ties between municipalities in different countries.
The city ended up selling the land for $12 million to the Qinhuangdao development zone. Since then, Vancouver company Taisheng International has overseen the effort to attract manufacturing companies to the park.
The trip will cost the city $6,000 or $1,500 each for the four people scheduled to go.