Provost John Hulbert from Perth to make civic visit to Haikou Oct 6-17
The importance of retaining links between Perth and its Chinese twin city Haikou was underlined at a special meeting September 1, 2011.
It is now 11 years since the last official council visit to Haikou, despite repeated invitations from its mayor, so members of Perth and Kinross Council’s Provost’s sub-committee took the ‘use it or lose it’ stance and agreed that Provost John Hulbert and a council officer should carry out an official visit from October 6 and 17.
Provost Hulbert will be accompanied on the visit by his wife Sara, two or three senior staff members from Perth College, Councillor Jack Coburn – who will travel under the Cittaslow banner – and five or six businessmen from Perth’s Chinese community.
The only expense to the council are expected to be the cost of flights for Provost Hulbert and the council officer plus civic gifts – a total of £3740.
Mrs Hulbert and all other parties will travel at their own expense.
Speaking at the sub-committee, Provost Hulbert explained that Perth was approaching the 20th anniversary of the twinning agreement with Haikou, in Hainan province, which was signed by former Provost Alex Murray in February 1992.
Provost Mike O’Malley was the last civic leader to visit 11 years ago.
"If we do not carry out an official visit soon, the twinning link with Haikou will die, and with it opportunities for the future,” said Provost Hulbert.
He outlined the opportunities which Perth was already developing with China, including Perth College’s increasingly important relationships with Haikou and intake of Chinese students to its courses, and the hugely successful Confucius Hub at Perth High School for the study of Chinese language and custom.
Another factor was the keenness of Perth’s Chinese community to develop business in Haikou.
The provost added: “In the longer term, I believe there is great potential in a golf link-up between one or more of the golf resorts in Hainan, and either Gleneagles or Taymouth.”
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