Chongqing aims to make friends with major int'l cities

2024-05-23 09:32:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Visitors enjoy night views of Hongyadong from the Qiansimen Bridge over the Jialing River in Chongqing. (Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily)

Chongqing, a city on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River known for its bridges, is looking to develop a "friendship bridge" that connects it with the rest of the world.

The southwest China metropolis hosted a global meeting on Wednesday to promote cooperation with major international cities.

Themed "Sub-national cooperation for common development", the Chongqing International Friendship Cities Cooperation Conference 2024 has attracted mayors and representatives from 48 cities in 31 countries, foreign diplomats from 14 countries and delegates from international organizations, multinational corporations and business associations, according to the Chongqing Foreign Affairs Office.

"We aim to build a platform for multilateral cooperation among international sister cities, promote practical collaboration and enhance mutual understanding among people," said Chongqing Mayor Hu Henghua at the opening ceremony. "It (the conference) will undoubtedly expand new development opportunities for sister city relationships."

He said that the city hopes to enhance communications with friendship cities by increasing the number of flights to them, optimizing its investment environment, promoting people-to-people exchanges and deepening cooperation in new energy vehicle development, electronic data, the digital economy, and the processing of food and agricultural products.

Chongqing established its first international sister city relationship with Toulouse, France, in 1982.Since then, it has fostered such relationships with 56 provinces, states and cities in 37 countries.

During the two-day event, Chongqing plans to stage a series of activities to promote cooperation in trade, culture and ecology, including a meeting on clean energy with a United States delegation from Sacramento, California, and a promotional event with the mayors of cities in Silicon Valley.

Marilyn Librers, vice-mayor of Morgan Hill, California, and president of the China Silicon Valley Association, is visiting Chongqing with five mayors from the region.

"We have many goals for our time in Chongqing this week. The China Silicon Valley Association will help your district expand into the US market, provide market research, help your enterprises enter into the international market and help enhance global competitiveness," she said during a speech at the ceremony.

Chongqing became the country's fourth municipality in 1997 after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. Covering 82,402 square kilometers, it is the largest of the four.

Last year, Chongqing's GDP reached a record 3 trillion yuan ($423 billion), up 6.1 percent year-on-year. It is the first city in western China to achieve a GDP that high.

With its position on the Yangtze, the city boasts key geographical advantages. It serves as a strategic point in national development programs in the western regions as well as the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, and it is also a connecting point for the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt.


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