Wakefield to twin with Chinese city Nanning in bid to boost cultural ties

A "friendship agreement" between Wakefield and a city in southern China will boost the West Yorkshire district's economy and help local businesses, the council has said.

Nanning is the capital of China's Guangxi province.
Nanning is the capital of China's Guangxi province.

Wakefield is twinning with Nanning City, which is home to seven million people on the Chinese border with Vietnam.

The local authority says the arrangement will boost cultural and educational ties, draw more tourists and open up opportunities for young people growing up in the area.

The mayor of Nanning, Zhou Hongbo, will visit West Yorkshire on Thursday morning to sign the agreement with Wakefield Council leader Peter Box.

The city hosted the World Half Marathon Championships in 2010.

Coun Box said: "We are pleased to welcome Mayor Zhou and his delegation to Wakefield.

"The aim of this friendship agreement is to promote the prosperity and development of our two cities and in light of Brexit, it is a positive step to strengthen relationships with countries outside of the EU.

"I am anticipating that in the coming months and years we will build strong relationships which can lead to increased commercial opportunities for domestic businesses.

"I also anticipate the building of educational, tourism and cultural links which will increase the district’s global reach bringing more visitors here while opening new opportunities for our young people.

"We all face the same challenges and it will be a good opportunity to share understanding and develop new approaches on a range of issues.

"We look forward to building our relationship in the years to come."

Nanning is the capital of China's Guangxi province, and posted a GDP of £47million in 2017.

Its main industries include bio-engineering and pharmaceuticals, and the city has a record of hosting major sporting events, including marathons and cycling races.

Mayor Zhou said the arrangement would build "communication and co-operation" between the two cities.

He said: "Nanning has always attached great importance to the development of friendly relations with British cities. Nanning is open, inclusive and always ready to learn.

"With these efforts, we are looking forward to sharing development opportunities and meeting challenges together in the pursuit of greater common prosperity in the future."

Local Democracy Reporting Service