Davao eyes sister city agreement with Marikina and Qinhuangdao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 May) – The City Government here is expected to forge a sister city agreement with Qinhuangdao, People’s Republic of China, and Marikina City, the Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) announced on Tuesday.

This, after the Davao City International Relations Board endorsed during its May 3 meeting the sister city agreement proposals to the City Council’s International Relations Committee to grant Mayor Sara Duterte the legislative authority to sign the sister city agreements for and on behalf of the City Government.

A separate endorsement was also passed to renew the 1994 sister city agreement with Quezon City.

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Ivan Cortez, who sits as one of the members of the board, said in an interview on Tuesday that the city and Qinhuangdao share similar characteristics.

He added that the two cities have ports, making it ideal for both to sign a mutually beneficial agreement, which would pave the way for the establishment of direct linkage and networking among the Chinese and Filipino businessmen for easier communication.

Cortez said a trade route between Davao and Qinhuangdao and a direct flight are highly possible due to the cultural and trade linkage.

“For sister agreement to prosper, both parties should have a secretariat to oversee the exchanges in communication to oversee the implementation of the agreed memorandum of agreement,” he said.

Aside from Qinhuangdao, Davao also signed last February 5 a letter of intent with Jinjiang City deputy mayor Li Zili in Fujian Province for establishment of sister city agreement.

DCIPC chief Lemuel Ortonio said Jinjiang has a thriving manufacturing industry and they see the cooperation to benefit both areas’ sports tourism.

Davao already has an existing sister city agreement with Nanning City, China, signed in 2006.

Cortez said that the Chinese are interested in Davao because it is the hometown of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who was mayor of Davao for 22 years.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Arturo Milan said a Chinese Consulate is set to open in the city in September this year.

Chinese Consul General Li Lin was formally introduced to the business community during the DCCCII’s 4th General Membership Meeting last April 26 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.

Milan revealed that the Consul General, as the conduit of China in trying to establish a direct linkage with Mindanao, wanted to improve the cultural, social, and economic ties.

He said they also expect to increase the presence of Chinese in Davao. The consulate office will also issue visa.

“Now that they have consulate general office here in Davao, it means only that they wanted also to increase their presence not only in Davao but also in Mindanao because this serves the whole of Mindanao maybe, culturally, socially, and also business,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)