The city of Haikou in Hainan Province & The canadian city Nanaimo
A Chinese delegation interested in building economic bridges has signed a friendship agreement with the city of Nanaimo.
On Monday, a group from Haikou, a tropical city of 1.8 million, signed a letter of intent to be friends with Nanaimo.
 It’s essentially an agreement to explore the possibilities of forming bonds toward closer economic ties in the future.
The meeting was arranged by Gabriel Yiu, a journalist, social activist and one-time New Democrat candidate for Burnaby-Willingdon, who moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1991.
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said he has no false hopes about the meeting, but welcomes the chance to reach out to part of the world’s fastest-growing economy.
When the group asked him about opportunities for investment Ruttan mentioned the need for a fast ferry to Vancouver and the failed hotel component for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
"They said that was something to investigate further," Ruttan said.
The delegation of economic development officials left Canada for New York and several other U.S. cities on Tuesday.
"My next step what I would like to see achieved they will finish their visit with two or three other U.S. cities then go back to China (and) maybe they’ll extend this a bit further," Ruttan said.
Haikou, located on the island of Hainan, is a province with special economic zone designation and is a tropical tourism destination in the South China Sea. Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog hopes the visit generates tourism opportunities for Nanaimo.
"If we can get even 1% of Chinese tourists to come to Nanaimo we’d be laughing," Krog said.
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