Chicago Ceremony Links Muncie - Zhuji City
April 22, 2010
The formal signing of a memorandum between Muncie, Indiana and Zhuji City, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China to become sister-cities took place at the W Hotel in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, April 22, 2010.
Zhejiang Province is Indiana's sister-state in China. Zhuji City is located some 53 miles south of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, and some 118 miles southwest of Shanghai. The population of Zhuji City is 1.1 million people. Zhuji City is ranked 24th out the 100 most wealthy counties nationwide. Zhuji City is named the "hometown" of: pearls, hosiery, Chinese Torreya nuts, organic tea, fine shirts and folk art. Zhuji City is hailed as the construction capital of Zhejiang Province, and the best city for high quality education and advanced science and technology.
The Muncie delegation to this historic signing ceremony was led by Mayor Sharon McShurley. She performed the groundwork on this initiative through three meetings with Chinese Consul General Ping Huang of the Chicago Consulate of the People's Republic of China since January this year. Accompanying Mayor McShurley was Mr. Mike King, President of the Muncie City Council. Mr. Brad Polk of the Muncie City Council, Ms. Traci Lutton of the Muncie/Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, and Muncie's consultant, Mr. Larry Ingraham, Director of Economic Development and International Trade for the Sagamore Institute For Policy Research in Indianapolis.
"We are extremely fortunate to partner with such a major industrial and agricultural city as Zhuji", said Mayor Sharon McShurley. "Many thanks to Chinese Consul General Huang for his assistance and guidance in this memorandum signing. The contributions of Larry Ingraham and the Sagamore Institute in this initiative are also greatly appreciated."
"There are three main objectives I am striving for in our new relationship with Zhuji City," said Mayor McShurley. "The first is economic development. I want to invite foreign direct investment from Zhuji City into Muncie, and to promote business-to-business opportunities between the corporate citizens of Muncie and Zhuji City. Our second objective is education, as we hope to open doors between our elementary, junior and senior high schools and Ball State University with the education institutions in Zhuji City. Our third objective is cultural exchanges where we look forward to creating new opportunities for our Muncie citizens to interact with and learn from the citizens of Zhuji City."
The Zhuji City delegation was led by Mr. Wang Jigang, Senior Consultant (Leader) of the Zhuji Municipal People's Government. Other Zhuji City representatives were Ms. Jiang Ting, Director of the Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of Zhuji City, Mr. Zhang Jianlin, Director of Zhuji Finance Bureau, Mr. Meng Guiming, Director of the Zhuji Environmental Protection Bureau, Mr. Ma Haiming, Consultant of Jiyang Subdistrict Office of the Zhuji Municipal People's Government, and Ms. Liu Qiufang, Vice Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Zhuji Municipal People's Government.
At the meeting, Mayor McShurley extended a formal invitation to the Zhuji City leadership to visit Muncie this year.