Mayor Mike Purzycki and Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz will welcome a delegation from Ningbo, China, to Wilmington tomorrow as part of a visit to establish stronger ties between the two cities. Celebrating its 36th Anniversary in 2024, Wilmington and Ningbo have a Friendship City relationship, often formed as a precursor to a more formal Sister City agreement. This less formal international relationship was established to help explore opportunities for economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation. The highlight of the daylong excursion will be a public photographic exhibit brought to the US by the Ningbo delegation. The photo exhibit event will take place in the lobby of the Louis L. Redding City/County Building, 800 North French Street, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Members of the public are invited to join Mayor Purzycki, Director Betz, and the Ningbo delegates in a brief ceremony to officially open the exhibit NINGBO, CHINA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY, which will be on display until January 31st. The delegation will also visit the Delaware Historical Society and meet with various City officials during their visit. “I extended an invitation to the government of Ningbo last November and I am extremely pleased that they accepted,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Director Betz and I look forward to welcoming and spending time with our special guests as we explore ways our two cities can strengthen exchanges and cooperation regarding economic growth, education, and the exchange of culture and the arts, among others. It is also another opportunity for our wonderful City to put its best foot forward on the international stage.” The Chinese delegation will consist of:
- Ms. BAO Xianping, Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Mr. QIAN Wenjun, Division Chief of Vocational Education for the Education Bureau of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Mr. SHEN Weidong, Office Director of the Investment Promotion Administration of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Ms. CAO Sheng, Division Chief of American and Oceanic Affairs for the Foreign Affairs Office of Ningbo Municipal Government
The City of Wilmington has established numerous Sister City and Friendship City relationships over the past several decades. These include Kalmar, Sweden (1963, Mayor John Babiarz); Watford, England (1985, Mayor Daniel S. Frawley); Fulda, Germany (1993, Mayor James Sills, Jr.); Osogbo, Nigeria (2002, Mayor James M. Baker); Olevano sul Tusciano, Italy (2002, Mayor James M. Baker); and Nemours, France (2010, Mayor James M. Baker). In addition to Ningbo, China, Wilmington has a Friendship City agreement with Doha, Qatar, established by Mayor Purzycki on his visit to the Qatari capital in April 2022.About Ningbo, ChinaOne of China’s oldest cities, Ningbo, with its long history and rich culture, is located in northeast Zhejiang province. With a population of 9.4 million (2020), it is one of 15 sub-provincial cities [en.wikipedia.org] in China and enjoys provincial-level autonomy in making financial and economic policy. Ningbo is one of the wealthiest cities in China, ranked 8th in terms of average annual disposable income (2020) and boasting a GDP of US$233.5 billion in 2022. It is home to one of the world’s busiest ports [en.wikipedia.org] and has global headquarters and registered offices of more than 100 listed companies, among the most in China. Ningbo is a major tourist destination and center of scientific research. You can learn more about Ningbo here [youtube.com].