A senior county councillor has said a new partnership with China’s Hunan province will help to “sell Lincolnshire internationally”.
Councillor Colin Davie, cabinet member for economy at the county council, welcomed the new agreement which will see Lincolnshire formally become sister regions with Hunan.
The province has a population of around 68 million people and its economy is worth around £385 billion per year.
Mr Kenin Wang, Deputy Director of Standing Committee of Hunan Provincial People’s Congress, met with Councillor Davie at The Deanery, Lincoln Cathedral, to formally sign the agreement.
It comes after around four years of discussions with both regions.
Councillor Davie said the relationship will be “significant” for the county and would be fruitful in the future.
“It’s really important for Lincolnshire to have a relationship with Hunan and it is now significant because it is blessed by Beijing,” he said.
“We have a really important relationship now, one that has strong foundations for the future.”
He added that the agreement will help to bring partnership working around automation, robotics and artificial intelligence and will sell the county on a worldwide scale.
Mr Wang said it is a “golden period” for both the UK and China to cooperate.
“This is an important date for both of us and a milestone,” he said.
“I am looking forward to the cooperation between Lincolnshire and the Hunan province.
“I hope we can work together to bring a bright future for both of us.”
Mr Wang is the highest-ranking Hunan official to have visited the county, and was joined by Madam Bao Ling, Minister Counsellor of the China Embassy in London.
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