Toowoomba Region took a further step in building a new sister city relationship in China following a meeting with trade liaison Nelson Huang, an honorary citizen of Shaoxing.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said we have bold ambitions to build trade and tourism links directly with the world’s economic powerhouse.
“China is set to become the world’s largest economy and we want to seize the emerging opportunities for our region’s tourism, education, agriculture and service industries, Mayor Antonio said.
“China is the next horizon for international tourism with visitor numbers from Asia growing last year by 10.3%. (Source: Southern Queensland Country Regional Snapshot)
“Also, International Education will play an increasingly important role in our region’s economy. With a proud history of educational excellence, Toowoomba offers a safe and welcoming community to support overseas students.
“Council has been building strong ties with the Yuecheng District, Shaoxing since the signing of an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two regions in 2016.
“Following the meeting with Mr Huang, Council will now extend an official invitation to the Shaoxing Government to visit the Toowoomba region so that we can formalise our partnership.
“The district of Yuecheng encompasses the central business area of the municipality of Shaoxing, which is home to around five million people. Importantly, Shaoxing borders the prominent city of Hangzhou which has a population of 25 million people.
“The broad-level MOU outlines that the two regions will carry out exchanges and foster cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, science and technology, culture, tourism, education, sports, health and personnel to promote mutual prosperity and development, Mayor Antonio said.
“I look forward to signing a formal sister-city agreement with the Yuecheng District, Shaoxing in the coming months and cementing links directly with this important Chinese region.
During the meeting Mr Huang presented a gift to Mayor Antonio for the Toowoomba region. The ornate timber case contains reproductions of three treasures of Ancient Yuecheng. The gift has great historical significance to Shaoxing and includes a bronze sword and mirror together with a china vase, replicas of items used over 2500 years ago.
The original Sword of Goujian is an archaeological artefact from 510BC and was recovered in 1965 in Hubei, China. The sword is renowned for its unusual sharpness and resistance to tarnish and is believed to have been used by the Kings of Yue. The sword is currently in the possession of the Hubei Provincial Museum, China.
The gift to our region will be on display in City Hall in June and then displayed at the Toowoomba City Library for the month of July.