Linden to benefit from sister-city twinning relationship with Xuzhou
By Utamu BelleThe Linden municipality is making good on its promise to advance the development of the town by all means, including friendly relations with international cities that are more developed.Just recently, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the City of Xuzhou, which was represented by its Vice Mayor Xu Donghai, at a ceremony held at Xuzhou City’s Exotic Conference Hall.The symbolic signing, which immediately puts into effect municipal cooperation between the two municipalities, has already yielded great benefits for Linden in the areas of education, youth, agriculture and infrastructure.Mayor Zhou Tiegen receiving a gift from Linden Mayor Carwyn HollandThe Linden team that attended this signing ceremony comprised the Mayor and his wife Nikosa Holland, Councillor Lennox Gasper and First Secretary of the Guyana Embassy in China, Dennelle Marshall. This team had bilateral discussions with Xuzhou officials, led by the Vice Mayor Xu Donghi; Deputy Secretary-General of Xuzhou Municipal Government, Jiang Ming; Director of Xuzhou Foreign Affairs Office, Wang Lianyun; and the Deputy Director of Xuzhou Foreign Affairs Office, Sun Weimin. Discussions were centred on means of advancing cooperation between the two municipalities, and there was great consensus, given the mining background of Linden and Xuzhou.In his brief remarks, Vice Mayor Donghai highlighted his similarities to Mayor Holland: they both came from a media background, and share the same drive to see development of their municipality. However, he noted the disparities in size, budget and development of the two municipalities, while pledging Xuzhou’s full support to see Linden develop comparatively. The Vice Mayor also said that his city will be looking out for Linden’s interest as a big brother, and would waste no time in fortifying the relationship.The Linden Mayor, in his response, thanked Xuzhou for twinning with Linden, and said the town of Linden, birthed in 1970, is known for its friendly and industrious people. He invited other Chinese investors to join BOSAI Minerals by establishing manufacturing and agro processing plants in Linden.Mayor Holland said this was his third visit to China, but this time it was extra special, as both municipalities seek to advance friendly cooperation on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, and to facilitate fruitful results in a wide area of cooperation.Linden Councillor Lennox Gasper, who led the gift exchange after the signing ceremony, expressed his appreciation for the outcome of the visit, and said the people of Linden are very grateful for the cooperation. Together with the Mayor, he championed the call for tangible results through the establishment of twin-city relations.The Linden delegation also toured the Xuzhou Institute of Agricultural Sciences, where they negotiated for the training of Lindeners in agri-scientific research with the Director Mr. Qinghe Cao. They later visited the China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) and met with Director of International Office, Mr. Zhang Zhenkang, to discuss the possibility of student exchanges, scholarships, and research collaboration.Mayor Holland, also a University of Guyana Education Resource Ambassador, lobbied for academic staff exchanges and fostering ties between Guyana’s leading tertiary institution and CUMT.In the immediate future, the two municipalities will host art exhibitions showcasing the art of the children of the sister territory, which will be opened for public viewing. Linden will host the first exhibition of art pieces by children of Xuzhou in December 2017, while Xuzhou will host the exhibition of Linden children’s art in early 2018 in Xuzhou. A pen pal initiative by all participating students would also be kick-started.The Linden delegation was also featured at the Xuzhou Investment Conference, which gave them the opportunity to participate in the forum showcasing Xuzhou’s business sector and investment opportunities, providing insight into a viable model of investment promotion from which the Linden team could draw lessons.The twinning, according to Mayor Holland, will target development in the areas of agriculture, education, sports, youth, culture, tourism, and infrastructure development.