Ni hao: Iloilo City seeks closer ties with Quanzhou

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Iloilo City may soon enjoy closer economic ties with Quanzhou City in China’s Fujian province, as both work on a sister-city agreement.

Mayor Jose Espinosa III and Quanzhou City representative Wang Ruiqiang signed a letter of intent at Iloilo City Hall last July 30.

Espinosa noted the two cities enjoy a relationship based not just on economics but also on family and bloodlines.

“The signing of our intention is not only a rekindle of our close bloodlines but also economic ties,” he said, adding most of the Filipino-Chinese community in Iloilo came from Fujian Province.

Wang, who led the Quanzhou City delegation, hoped both cities would establish deeper and closer friendly exchanges and cooperation.

“Iloilo is one of the Philippines’ major cities. The city is endowed with a fine environment with its inherent geographic advantages,” Wang added.

On trade, Wang said there are plans to organize field inspections and studies, to promote economic development, international production, and marketing cooperation.

Quanzhou City, which hosts the yearly Maritime Silk Road Expo, plans to invite businesses in Iloilo and promised to send marketing networks to Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, Wang said they will organize non-tangible cultural exhibits such as traditional handicrafts, paintings, art exhibits. They are also inviting the arts and cultural society in Iloilo to join in their Art Festival.

“Under education, we hope to promote the establishment of friendly relationships between the schools in Quanzhou and Iloilo. We may organize teachers and students to conduct friendly visits and exchanges,” Wang said.

He also said he looks forward to establishing mechanisms to ensure closer and friendly exchanges between the port authorities of both cities.

Quanzhou, with a population of 8.65 million, has rich cultures and has earned honors such as one of the first 24 Chinese historic cultural sites designated by the State Council, the first Culture City of East Asia in China and the first “World Multi-Culture Exhibition Center” certified by UNESCO as the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road.

It has six industrial clusters in textile and clothing, footwear, petrochemicals, machinery and equipment, building materials and food and beverage, each worth over $15 billion.