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A number of local business representatives will visit Taupo’s sister city Suzhou in China in September to further develop business opportunities between our two districts.
International Relations Committee chairman Doreen Blyth believes it's even more important in this time of financial uncertainty to keep developing Taupo's relationship with China. "China is New Zealand's fourth biggest export market and our third largest trading partner overall and is continuing to grow.”
Suzhou is situated in the lower reaches of China's Yangtze River and on the shores of Lake Taihu which resonates with Taupo’s connection to Lake Taupo and the Waikato River. The relationship between Taupo and the 2500-year-old city of Suzhou has been developing over the past five years.
Clr Blyth said “Our sister-city relationship has allowed us to promote Taupo on a more personal level with Suzhou, this trip aims to move the relationship to the next level to create real business opportunities and achieve economic benefits for Taupo,” she said.
Chinese custom requires that the Mayor and CEO as civic representatives travel with the business delegation to introduce them to potential trading partners. This will allow the formalising of Taupo’s Sister City relationship with Suzhou at an official signing ceremony to take place.
The business delegation includes Graeme Fleming- CEO of Lake Taupo Protection Trust; Chairman and Business Director of Funnel Group of companies, John Funnell and Marketing Manager Fritz Frohlke; Director Cheal Consultants Rob Marshall; The Marketing and Tourism Manager of Wairakei Terraces - Te Ori Paki; and Rose Blackley – Director, Taupo Language and Outdoor Education Centre. The business delegation will all pay their own expenses.