City looking for Chinese twin

Campbell River may soon have a direct link to China which could help attract investment from the one of the world’s largest markets.

The city has plans to twin with a community in China that has a similar economy and attributes – preferably a coastal community with a demand for forest products and fish.

“The twinned community should have something in common with Campbell River,” said Nigel Ross, chair of the Future of Forestry Task Force which has reviewed the idea of twinning with a Chinese city. “There needs to be opportunities available for both communities to take advantage of in order for a long-term bilateral relationship to develop and work.”

With an increasing demand for B.C. wood products, combined with funding from the province earmarked for twinning opportunities, the task force feels now is the time to pursue a partnership with China.

“Task force members felt that any opportunity to create economic development opportunities with China, for Campbell River, would be positive,” said Ross in a report to council. “With the provincial government’s efforts in promoting wood construction using BC forest products, Campbell River would be ideally suited to attract investor interest in forest products from our area. The abundance of timber, a solid contractor and supplier base and the location of regional offices for Interfor, Western Forest Products and TimberWest, make Campbell River an ideal twinning community.”

Canada is also an approved tourism destination for Chinese nationals and with B.C. geographically situated as the gateway to China and Asia, there is a big opportunity for local tourism businesses and operators to take advantage of.

With council’s approval of the initiative at last Tuesday’s council meeting, city staff will begin researching a suitable twin community.

Campbell River already has a twin city in Japan – Ishikari. That partnership was officially formed in 1983 when mayors from both communities signed an agreement which strives to promote friendship and mutual interchanges in the fields of economy, culture, education and sports between the two communities.

Education and culture have been the main focus of the relationship so far and some economic ties have been explored, according to the Campbell River Twinning Society’s website.

Since the twinning, almost 1,000 people have participated in an exchange.

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