County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, New Castle County Council President Dr. Christopher A. Bullock, and Councilman William Powers are scheduled to travel to Qiqihar, China in an effort to foster New Castle County’s relationship with its sister city and to share ideas on education, culture, and the economy. The New Castle County delegation is scheduled to leave early Monday, August 17 and to return the night of Monday, August 24.
The trip by the New Castle County delegation comes after the visit to New Castle County by Qiqihar officials in November 2014 when the sister city agreement, written in English and Chinese, was signed by County Executive Gordon, Council President Bullock, and Qiqihar Mayor Sun Shen (Zhe) at the Westin Hotel. The agreement states, in part, the “County and Qiqihar City shall promote exchanges, cooperation and development between the parties in the fields of economy, trade, science, technology, culture, education, sports, tourism, etc.”
“We want to repay our sister city, Qiqihar, for the respect she showed us in visiting us and cultivating its relationship with New Castle County,” County Executive Gordon said. “In addition, we have to be aware that a relationship between the two largest economies in the world has to start at a micro level. To that end, we can decide the world is our oyster and make opportunities that benefit us economically and culturally.”
Qiqihar is the second largest city in the Heilongjiang province in People's Republic of China with 1.5 million people.
"This is an opportunity to build upon the goodwill and commonalities shared between two global economies,” Council President Bullock said. “I’m also hopeful to explore with Executive Gordon and Councilman Powers the viability of bringing Chinese investment to New Castle County."
Councilman Powers, a farmer in Townsend, said he was looking forward to learning more about Chinese agriculture and opportunities for American farmers.
“Grain, meat, and poultry are some of the main things the United States still exports,” Councilman Powers said. “Given our strategic location, there might be opportunities for New Castle County to help American farmers get their goods into China.”