Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has concluded a successful 12-day official visit to China. Mayor Robertson’s main focus during his trip was the first-ever Vancouver Green Capital Business Mission to Shanghai, where he was joined by executives of 22 local companies from the clean tech, digital media and green building sectors.
Mayor Robertson travelled to Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Hong Kong where he met with high-level government officials and Chinese business leaders to promote trade and investment in Vancouver.
Three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed during the Mayor’s visit. The first is an agreement between the City of Vancouver and global network giant Cisco Systems, which will position Vancouver as a global smart city by deploying energy monitoring controllers combined with software from Vancouver-based company Pulse Energy.
The second agreement from the business mission was for the launch of a new green building research and development centre in Tianjin—one of China’s fastest developing regions. Vancouver Global Green, a consortium of sustainable urban design professionals, has partnered with EnVision (Shanghai) and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City to establish the Net Zero Canadian Research and Development Centre. Construction on the centre, which will provide a platform for Canadian companies to demonstrate and share their green building expertise in China, is set to begin in 2011.
The third was a joint agreement by the City of Vancouver and the City of Guangzhou to collaborate on low-carbon economic development and business-to-business opportunities between the two cities. The MOU signing capped off the 25th Anniversary Sister City celebrations in Guangzhou, which were held in collaboration with the Vancouver-Guangzhou Friendship Society and a delegation of prominent Chinese-Canadian business leaders from Vancouver.
Highlights of the Mayor’s trip to China included:
- Meeting with Beijing Vice Mayor Chen Gang to discuss sustainable urban development and opportunities for city-to-city collaboration;
- A tour of the Yingli Solar and United Wind Power Equipment factories in the high-tech economic development zone of Baoding City;
- Vancouver Green Capital Day at Shanghai Expo, with celebrations at both Vancouver Pavilion and Canada Pavilion;
- Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin about Vancouver’s progress towards becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020;
- The inaugural Sister City Cup soccer match, with the Vancouver team led by Mayor Robertson and Deputy Mayor Raymond Louie and the Guangzhou team by Mayor Wan Qinliang and Vice Mayor Xu Riusheng.
Photo credit: City of Vancouver