GOMEL, 28 August (BelTA) – A twinning agreement between Belarus' Gomel and China's Chengdu was signed on 28 August at a meeting between the Gomel authorities and a delegation from the Chinese city, BelTA has learned.
The document was signed by Gomel Mayor Piotr Kirichenko and member of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Chengdu Municipal Committee Fan Ruiping.
The parties outlined the main areas of cooperation. The cities intend to develop relations in economics, trade, education, culture, tourism and other sectors. “Unfortunately, today China accounts only for less than 2% in the foreign trade of Gomel enterprises. However, we have serious prospects for fruitful cooperation in the economic field,” the Gomel mayor said.
The head of the Chengdu delegation supported the initiative. “Chengdu is called a window to international cooperation for the western part of China with European countries. This is possible thanks to a well-developed transport infrastructure, primarily the rail one. In this regard, the freight train Chengdu-Europe can be considered the city's business card as it connects China, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus,” Fan Ruiping said.
Education and healthcare are among the promising areas of cooperation. Representatives of the parties have signed a memorandum of strategic partnership between Chengdu Investment Corporation and Gomel Regional Clinical Hospital for the disabled Great Patriotic War veterans. The parties will bolster ties in education too. Higher Secondary School Wuhou and Gymnasium No. 71 singed an agreement to establish cooperation.
A memorandum on cooperation between Gomel and Chengdu was signed in November 2016. For two years the representatives of the cities got acquainted with the economic potential, discussed pressing issues of international trade, economic and investment interaction, established long-term interregional ties and outlined priorities for cooperation.
Chengdu has become the 33rd sister-city of Gomel. The regional center has signed partnership agreements with the cities of Russia, France, China, Ukraine, Italy, Latvia, Georgia, Bulgaria, the UK, United States, Serbia, and other countries.