Representatives from Espoo and Shanghai will be meeting in the Chinese city between 29 October and 2 November to establish closer forms of bilateral cooperation. Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo, and Yang Xiong, Mayor of Shanghai, will today sign a bilateral Sister City partnership agreement for the years 2017–2019. “Through our collaboration with Shanghai, Espoo can enhance competitiveness across Finland and also help to open doors for Finnish businesses in China via Shanghai,” Espoo Mayor Jukka Mäkelä said.
At their meeting, the two mayors discussed plans to forge closer links between growth businesses in Europe and China. Mr Yang also took the opportunity to express his delight at the success of the SLUSH Shanghai event, held on Monday. SLUSH CEO Marianne Vikkula, who attended the meeting, was pleased to hear of Mayor Yang’s strong commitment to supporting the ongoing growth of SLUSH in Shanghai in the coming years.
During the visit, Finnish and Chinese collaboration on innovation and growth companies will be further promoted across a number of events. Espoo’s mayor gave the opening address at SLUSH Shanghai and Espoo’s Director of Economic and Business Development has been invited to speak at the Nordic Cleantech Forum. “During our visit, we will also be finalising plans for the next steps on collaboration between the Espoo Innovation Garden and the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park,” Tuula Antola, Espoo’s Director of Economic and Business Development explained.
Furthermore, the City of Espoo will be hosting an evening reception together with the Consulate General of Finland, and city representatives are due to attend a breakfast meeting with Finnish businesses based in Shanghai, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The visit is also due to feature the launch of the Sino-Finnish Challenge, the only series of events planned to mark the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017. The event series is designed to strengthen collaboration between the Tongji Design and Innovation College and the Aalto University in Finland.
Espoo’s delegation to Shanghai comprises the city’s Mayor, Jukka Mäkelä, Director of Economic and Business Development, Tuula Antola, Head of International Affairs, Fanglan Tao and Espoo Marketing CEO, Jaana Tuomi.
The City of Espoo enjoys strong and long-standing links with Shanghai, the two cities having concluded a sister city agreement 16 years ago. Over the years, the collaboration has evolved into a close-knit partnership in the areas of culture and education, as well as services for the elderly. Business collaboration, too, has picked up in the past few years and is expected to deliver significant benefits to both cities.
Mayors Mäkelä and Yang signed the Espoo-Shanghai Sister City Agreement for 2017–2019.