12 Sep 2013

Dunedin pairs up with Qingdao

5:46 pm on 12 September 2013

Dunedin has made an economic development deal with a rising Chinese industrial city.

A visiting delegation from Qingdao and Dunedin City Council signed the deal on Thursday.

Qingdao, a seaport, is already one of Auckland's sister cities, but has a natural link with Dunedin because it is the base of the white goods maker Haier, which owns Fisher & Paykel Appliances.

Much of Fisher & Paykel's design work is done in Dunedin.

The memorandum of understanding between Qingdao's bureau of commerce and the Dunedin council sets up plans for trade missions and fairs in the areas of finance, tourism and innovation.

The council says this is its first such economic agreement, and it should lead to more meat, seafood and wood exports, as well as scientific exchanges in areas such as marine science.

The signing was initially meant to take place on Wednesday but was delayed by the stormy weather.

Qingdao and Dunedin leaders after the signing.

Qingdao and Dunedin leaders after the signing. Photo: DUNEDIN CITY COUNCIL