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Utol! Cebu, Fujian City to ink sisterhood this year

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Cebu City and Fujian City in China will become sister cities by September, but this early have lined up programs to strengthen their ties.

Officials from both cities are expected to sign later this year a memorandum formalizing the sisterhood agreement, the Cebu provincial government said.

Governor Hilario Davide III is to fly to Fujian, China in September for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement.

The agreement signing will be in China, coinciding with the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) on Sept. 8 to 11 in Xiamen.

“CIFIT is China’s only international investment promotion event aimed at facilitating bilateral investment,” the provincial government noted.

After the MOA signing in September, sister-city agreements are in the works with Danao, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu Cities.

However, the sisterhood of both cities was finalized as early as March 7, during a meeting between officials of both cities.

Representing Cebu City were Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino; Rodrigo Lachica Jr., consultant for International Relations; and Floreza Alpuerto, OIC of the Cebu Investment Promotions Office.

Fujian officials at the meeting included Chen Chuxin, vice president for the Fujian People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries; Cai Wenzhi, deputy director for the International Exchanges Division of the Foreign Affairs Office; James Jiang of International Exchange Division of Fujian’s Foreign Affairs Office; Zheng Zhi Liang, deputy director for the Quanzhou Municipal Foreign Affairs & Overseas Chinese Affairs Office; and Jin Teng Xu, associate consultant for the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Putian Municipal Government.

With the expected signing of the sisterhood agreement, Fujian province is offering three cultural-exchange opportunities, including the Fujian ASEAN government officials/International Friendship State and Province Liaison Officers Seminar.

The Cebu provincial government is invited to send two representatives to attend the seminar for 15 days, in April or May 2018 in Fujian.

“The seminar will include site visits to inland and coastal areas of the province, as well as lectures on Fujian culture,” the provincial government said.

Also, the Fujian government is opening the Fujian Provincial People’s Government Scholarship Program to students from Cebu to study in institutions of higher education in Fujian.

Students below 45 who want to pursue graduate or post-graduate studies will be offered Chinese language and culture classes and opportunities “to deeply understand the economic and social development of Fujian.”

“The study period is from September 2018 to July 2019. The tuition and accommodation expenses, as well as comprehensive medical insurance and allowances are covered by the Fujian Provincial People’s Government Scholarship,” the provincial government said.

However, the sending organization has to shoulder the airfare, meals, and utility bills.

For June or July, Fujian is also proposing a two-way cultural exchange for the youth from different sectors, including the media from Cebu and Fujian.