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Sister city programme with Chengdu approved

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The skyline in Chengdu, which a delegation of Fingal councillors visited earlier this year

A five-year 'sister city' agreement between Fingal and the Chengdu region in China has been reached with a specific 24-month plan approved by councillors.

Chengdu is the provincial capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China, as well as a major city in Western China. With a population that has surpassed 15 million people

The agreement provides significant opportunities for exchange of expertise and experience across a wide range of local government functions, including exchange of internships.

As part of the agreement, Fingal Dublin Chamber will establish direct liaison with the Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu.

The development of horticultural between the two regions will also be a key plank of the agreement.

'Fingal is the main centre for horticulture and food production in Ireland. The area around Chengdu is also a very important area for food production in China and the group see great synergies between the municipalities here.'

A two-way tourist flow between the countries will also be developed.

Fingal County Council holds a number of cultural events throughout the year and there are opportunities for cultural exchanges between

Fingal's chief executive Paul Reid said the council would proceed cautiously with this. 'We will assess the benefits and bring report back to council each year as a minimum.'

It is now expected that a small Fingal delegation will visit Chengdu, comprising two councillors, two officials and the chair of the Economic Development and Enterprise SPC.

2016 will require a return trip to Chengdu and could be considered as a larger trade delegation subject to the identification of funding.

Fingal Independent

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The skyline in Chengdu, which a delegation of Fingal councillors visited earlier this year