The Lord Mayor of Cork will begin a seven-day trip to China tomorrow aiming to raise the city’s profile in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.
Cllr John Buttimer will be joined by the city manager, Tim Lucey, UCC President Dr Michael Murphy, Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy, the Director of the Confucius Institute in UCC Professor Fan Hong, and the city council’s Director of Economic Development Pat Ledwidge.
The Lord Mayor will attend the 2012 Hangzhou International Sister City Mayors’ Conference and will address the conference on the topic of ‘Leisure and Economy’. He will also meet city leaders in Hangzhou and propose co-operation projects in the areas of innovation, education, culture and local government.
On Monday he will meet Madame Xu Lin, Director General at Hanban, the government agency that funds the Confucius Institutes worldwide. He will also meet two local pharmaceutical companies scheduled to visit Cork.
The Lord Mayor will also speak at the opening of ‘A Showcase of Irish Architecture — Shanghai 2012’ in the Irish Centre Shanghai. The delegation will have further meetings with the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Shanghai University regarding the Confucius Institute Building and Chinese Garden project in UCC.
The delegation returns to Cork next Thursday.
Shanghai is twinned with Cork and there have been regular cultural exchanges between the two cities.