Mon | Jan 20, 2020

... Delegation to visit China soon

Published:Tuesday | January 14, 2020 | 12:18 AM

Western Bureau:

On-again, off-again plans by officials of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) to visit Huangshi city in China are once again on with indications that the trip is being finalised to take place in March.

The trip to Huangshi was originally expected to take place in October 2018, after a decision was taken during discussions to twin that city with Lucea, the Hanover capital.

However, the trip did not materialise as the HMC representatives did not receive approval from the Ministry of Local Government on time.

While the visit to China did not take place, the twinning discussions continued, and on July 22, 2019, a Friendly Cooperative Cities Agreement was signed between the HMC and representatives from the Huangshi People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China at the municipal building in Lucea.

During the lead-up to the signing of the agreement, representatives from Huangshi visited the island twice to discuss issues pertinent to the twinning arrangement.

When the HMC delegation visits China, it is expected to be a fact-finding mission to discuss future cooperation in areas such as business, sports, culture, and other collaborative opportunities.

The HMC delegation selected to make the trip includes Mayor Sheridan Samuels, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Gardner; Deputy Mayor Andria Dehaney-Dinham; and Devon Brown, the councillor for the Hopewell division and minority leader of the municipality.

“The matter of the reciprocal trip came up for discussion at the January meeting of the HMC,” said Gardner, who noted that the Chinese counterparts had made contact via email, in which some proposed dates for the visit of the Jamaican delegation were given.

BAD TIMING

While the timing of the proposed trip is considered an ideal time, based on the weather conditions in China in the proposed March to May window, some councillors believe the timing is bad as speculations are rife that there might be a general election in Jamaica by mid-year.

However, in a subsequent resolution to approve the trip, the councillors unanimously decided to grant approval for the trip to take place in March 2020. It was also decided that all the necessary documentation should be expedited and the Ministry of Local Government given enough notice for the necessary approvals.

Huangshi city is the second biggest city in the Hubei Province of China, with a population of approximately 2 .7 million people. The city is also known as a vibrant industrial and commercial one.