Mayor Mike Purzycki and Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz extended a warm welcome to a delegation from Ningbo, China, that arrived in Wilmington, January 23, 2024. The visit marked a significant effort to enhance ties between the two cities, exploring opportunities for economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation. Wilmington and Ningbo shared a Friendship City relationship, established in celebration of their 36th Anniversary in 2024.
As part of the daylong excursion, the highlight was a public photographic exhibit, “NINGBO, CHINA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY,” brought to the US by the Ningbo delegation. The exhibit, located in the lobby of the Louis L. Redding City/County Building at 800 North French Street, officially opened at 2:00 p.m. Mayor Purzycki, Director Betz, and the Ningbo delegates invited members of the public to join them in a brief ceremony. The exhibit is open for viewing until January 31st. Additionally, the delegation visited the Delaware Historical Society and engaged with various City officials during their stay.
Mayor Purzycki expressed his delight at the acceptance of the invitation extended to the government of Ningbo last November. He emphasized the city’s eagerness to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economic growth, education, and the exchange of culture and the arts. The visit served as an opportunity for Wilmington to showcase its international presence.
The Chinese delegation included:
- Ms. BAO Xianping, Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Mr. QIAN Wenjun, Division Chief of Vocational Education for the Education Bureau of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Mr. SHEN Weidong, Office Director of the Investment Promotion Administration of Ningbo Municipal Government
- Ms. CAO Sheng, Division Chief of American and Oceanic Affairs for the Foreign Affairs Office of Ningbo Municipal Government
Wilmington had a history of establishing Sister City and Friendship City relationships, including with cities like Kalmar, Sweden; Watford, England; Fulda, Germany; Osogbo, Nigeria; Olevano sul Tusciano, Italy; and Nemours, France. In addition to Ningbo, China, Wilmington also had a Friendship City agreement with Doha, Qatar, established in April 2022.
About Ningbo, China:
Ningbo, one of China’s oldest cities, is located in northeast Zhejiang province. With a rich history and culture, it is a major sub-provincial city with provincial-level autonomy in financial and economic policy. Boasting a population of 9.4 million (2020), Ningbo is the 8th wealthiest city in China in terms of average annual disposable income (2020) and has a GDP of US$233.5 billion in 2022. Home to one of the world’s busiest ports, Ningbo hosts global headquarters and registered offices of over 100 listed companies. It is also a prominent tourist destination and a center for scientific research. More information about Ningbo can be found here.