Relationships between Northern Ireland and China are at an all-time high with over 100 delegates including 50 Chinese provincial and municipal leaders arriving in Belfast this week.
The Chinese provincial and municipal leaders will meet with a wide range of our Government representatives, academia and businesses to explore opportunities for mutual benefits in economic development, education, health and life sciences.
"Securing the prestigious UK-China regional leaders Summit is a significant milestone in our relationship with China," David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has said.
The Chinese provincial and municipal leaders and delegates will arrive in Belfast on Friday for a three day Summit. Regions represented include Liaoning, Shanghai, Hubei, Jilin, Shenyang, Dalian and Changchun representing a population of around 110 million people.
David Sterling said: "To have such influential people in Belfast is a massive opportunity for Northern Ireland and I look forward to extending a warm welcome to the Chinese National Friendship Association and the regional leaders.
"It is an incredible achievement for the NI Executive Bureau in China, which has only been operational for three years, to secure this prestigious event for Northern Ireland. This Summit demonstrates the effectiveness of the strategy we have taken where we have targeted working with particular provinces in China.
"This visit offers the opportunity for face to face meetings and provides the platform to help build connections and identify strategic areas for information exchange and economic partnerships. All Northern Ireland Departments and Alastair Hamilton's team in Invest NI have been working with universities, businesses and Councils to plan for this Summit.
"When the Chinese Regional leaders leave on Sunday they will know Northern Ireland is open for business and ready to form long term, productive relationships with Chinese regions."
Consul General of China in Belfast, WANG Shuying said: "2017 marks the 45th anniversary of Ambassador-level diplomatic relations between China and UK.
"Against this background and through this Summit, China-Northern Ireland relations are being promoted to a higher level. This Summit is a shining example of the commitment and effort of both China and Northern Ireland to build upon the successes to date.
"My team and myself look forward to welcoming all the delegates to this Summit in Northern Ireland which I know will be informative, thought-provoking and mutually beneficial."
Notes to editors:
- This is the third UK-China Regional leaders Summit since it was agreed between David Cameron and President Xi Jinping following his visit to London in 2015.
- The first Summit was held in the UK with the Northern Powerhouse region and second in Shanghai with the Midlands Engine City cluster.
- The selection of the region is based on the submission of a bid to the FCO and requires agreement from the Chinese Government's Friendship Association.
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