Montréal, November 3, 2015 – The Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community is currently leading a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China until November 6, 2015. As part of this mission, the Honourable Denis Coderre met with the Mayor of Shanghai, Mr. Yang Xiong, to underline the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Montréal and Shanghai. The mayors of the two cities reiterated their commitment to work closely together in various fields of activity by signing the 2015-2018 twinning protocol.
“Since the signing of the first protocol by mayors Jean Drapeau and Wang Daohan on May 14, 1985, valuable bonds of friendship and cooperation have been developed. I would like to acknowledge and thank those who have supported directly or indirectly the exchanges between Montréal and Shanghai over the past 30 years,” said Mayor Coderre. “They say that the past is an indication of what the future holds. The protocol that we are ratifying today is deeply rooted in the realities that reflect our cities’ modern lifestyles. I am certain that the relations between Montréal and Shanhgai will experience a new momentum in the coming years,” added the Mayor of Montréal.
Cooperation based on equality and mutual benefits
The 2015-2018 protocol continues the exchanges already initiated in areas such as parks and horticulture. These exchanges led to the creation of the Jardin du Lac de rêve, one of the largest traditional Chinese gardens outside China and built in the heart of the Botanical Garden, at Espace pour la vie. The twinning protocol provides for the maintenance and landscaping of the Chinese Garden in Montréal and the Montréal Garden in Shanghai, while promoting scientific exchange in the field of plant biology. Discussions aimed at awarding a contract to renovate the clay tile roofs of the Montréal Chinese Garden pavilions have started with partners of the Landscape Architecture Corporation of China (Shanghai branch) this year. This cooperation could start as early as next spring and end by the summer of 2017.
The new twinning protocol will have a wider scope and include economic development, culture, the environment, sustainable development, urban governance and the social sector.
Montréal and Shanghai plan to strengthen economic exchanges and trade between the two cities, as well as promote missions by business representatives as a means to support trade between the two metropolitan areas. The cities agree to continue negotiations leading to the introduction of direct air service between the two cities, and to help develop their tourist and culinary industries.
The two cities further agree to collaborate in the fields of education, teaching of foreign languages, exchange of students and experts, and research projects between teaching institutions of all levels.
The new protocol provides for on-going collaboration between the Shanghai Women’s Federation, the Conseil des Montréalaises and Montréal’s social diversity department. The two cities agree to promote and support the development of women and children as well as equality between men and women.
Commercial and academic initiatives
During his visit to Shanghai, the Mayor of Montréal presided over a signing ceremony of multiple agreements, and delivered a keynote speech as guest of honour at the Canada China Business Council Annual General Assembly and Policy Conference, which is the country’s primary catalyst in Chinese-Canadian bilateral trade.
Tomorrow, Mayor Coderre will attend the launching ceremony for the protocol agreement between the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Shanghai Normal University (SHNU), in the presence of the rector of the Université du Québec à Montréal. After addressing SHNU students at a ceremony held in his honour, Mayor Coderre will be awarded the title of honourary professor of the SHNU Management and Finance Department.