Davao City signs sister city pact with Hawaii’s Kaua’i and letter of intent with China’s Jinjiang

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 February) — The signing of sister city agreement between Davao City and the County of Kaua’i in Hawaii will open doors of opportunities for potential business ventures and investments on both sides, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

At the signging of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao on Monday, the mayor said business opportunities would pave way for an intimate connection between Dabawenyos and people of County Kaua’i, the first county in United States with whom Davao signed an agreement.

The city also signed a letter of intent with Jinjiang City deputy mayor Li Zili in Fujian Province at City Hall earlier that same day, to pave the way for a possible signing of a similar sister city agreement.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Kaua’i County of Hawaii Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. show their signed sister city agreement on February 5, 2018 in Davao City. Carvalho said tourism and agriculture, particularly on cacao and coffee farming, can be areas that Davao and Kaua’i could work on together. Duterte, on the other hand, said both cities can “mutually benefit” from each other’s agriculture, tourism, culture and trade. MIndaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Mayor Duterte signed the MOA with Kaua’i almost a year after a delegation from Hawaii visited Davao and extended a friendship certificate to signify their interest in establishing a sisterhood relationship.

The mayor  urged members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines to take advantage of the sisterhood agreement by discussing with Kaua’i counterparts on potential partnerships.

“Davao City very much welcomes opportunities to establish and boost linkages that strengthen our relations with different cities. It is our responsibility to make sure that we become open to different cultures so that we can have wide perspective on how we can improve our service to the community. Davao City is a friend to everyone,” she said.

County of Kaua’i mayor Bernard P. Carvalho said the agreement allows both parties to maintain communicative atmosphere to encourage a heightened exchange of ideas particularly in tourism and culture, agriculture trade, and renewable energy.

He said they look forward to sharing knowledge on agriculture and enhancement systems, including technology and products.

“We have to broaden communication fields to promote best practices in fields that are to each other,” Carvalho added.

He said they also want to share with Davao tourism practices and cultural techniques that enhance the lives of the communities, including methods to attract and maintain the interest of the visitors by intensified tourism promotions and representation of their respective cultures.

“Both Davao City and County of Kaua’I are blessed with spectacular scenery and lush vegetation,” he said, adding the agreement with Davao City is about “partnerships, coordination, and collaboration, and cooperation.”

The sister city agreement aims to establish a sister city relationship to promote mutually beneficial cooperation and deeper understanding between the parties, through an exchange of ideas in the fields of tourism and culture, agriculture, and trade and commerce.

It added the two parties found it favorable to exchange tourism practices and cultural preservation techniques since the two areas gather a vast number of tourists.

Both parties may provide, if within the capacity of the parties, an exchange in the necessary machines, crops, and products that are lacking within their partnered sister city, it said.

Duterte also signed a letter of intent with Jinjiang City deputy mayor Li Zili in Fujian Province at City Hall prior to the Maro Polo signing, that may pave the way for the forging of a similar sister city relationship.

Leonard Ortonio. head of the Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) said the signing of a letter of intent was just a preliminary step because the forging of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) is a long process since it has to be deliberated by the Davao City International Relations Board before it would be forwarded to the City Council.

He said the MOA might be signed within the first semester.

Ortonio said the city could benefit in terms of trade and commerce since Jinjiang has a thriving manufacturing industry.

He added they also see strong potentials for cooperation in the area of sports tourism. Both cities are positioned as a sports tourism destination, he said.

Ortonio said both cities share cultural ties because there are many Filipino-Chinese businessmen here whose roots originated in Fujian Province.

The visit of a delegation from Jinjian City came after the invitation of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Davao Chapter to visit the city to discuss the establishment of a friendly relationship, following the Joint Communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Philippines and China.

The Joint Communique was intended to enhance “understanding and friendship, and to open development exchanges and cooperation in the fields of science and technology, culture, education, public health and sports, both cities have agreed to sign the letter of intent for the establishment of friendly relationship.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)