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Delegation makes whirlwind stop

Visit solidifies cooperation agreement with Chinese city and area
By Chris Bolster

Love at first sight—that’s how one member of a recent delegation from the People’s Republic of China described the developing relationship between Powell River and city of Zhanghe within the Dalian area.

The two cities, along with Tla’amin (Sliammon) First Nation signed a cooperation agreement in September when chief councillor Clint Williams, mayor Dave Formosa, School District 47 superintendent Jay Yule and city staff visited Zhanghe and Dalian in China’s northeast.

“We have found that we have a lot of potential opportunities to cooperate,” Sun Hong, secretary of the Zhanghe Committee of the Communist Party of China, stated in a City of Powell River press release. “I’m glad to see thriving Chinese businesses in Powell River. We welcome every one of you to come visit our city. We also hope that business from our city can come to your area to invest.”

The recently signed memorandum-of-agreement opens the door for more cooperation in areas of education, forestry and timber, seafood, cultural exchanges and tourism, import/export trading, shipping and big data.

Officials met the Chinese delegation at the Powell River airport and then took the visitors for a driving tour of the area. Following the tour, a lunch was held.

Acting mayor Karen Skadsheim, said that it was a great honour to welcome them, as did Tla’amin Chief Clint Williams.

“Our development corporation representatives are eager to hear proposals and show the beautiful lands and resources the people have in our traditional territory,” said Williams.

Yule, serving as master of ceremonies for the lunch, also thanked Mr. Lu of Starium Development Inc., and his sons for choosing to purchase the Catalyst Paper Corporation land on Wildwood bluffs. The Chinese company has plans to build a university, hotel, small marina, and residential neighbourhood development. “We are very excited about the future,” said Yule.

The delegation left Powell River later that evening on the way to catch a flight to the United States.