Davao City and the People’s Republic of China’s known tourism destination in Hainan Province, are eyeing a sisterhood pact that will boost trade and tourism between the two cities.

The sisterhood agreement was initially discussed during the visit of the delegation from Sanya City in Davao on Wednesday to explore areas of cooperation in trade and tourism.

“We have a strong intention to establish a sisterhood city agreement between Davao City and Sanya City in Hainan province,” said Mao Wanchun, the chairman of the Hainan Provincial Committee of China People Political Consultative Conference.

Mao, who led the delegation from Hainan, takes pride in Sanya’s good tourism industry. Sanya is located on the southern coast of Hainan and tagged as “Orient Hawaii” because of its tropical climate and nice beaches.

The sisterhood agreement would not only strengthen tourism exchange between cities but also trade with Hainan, China’s future freight port.

“We target to build Hainan as a window to the world to see the beauty of China. To achieve our goals, we should rely on our openness to the world and this includes the Philippines, particularly Davao City,” Mao said.

Mao said the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China led to their decision about cooperation with Davao City.

April Marie Dayap, the head of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), said the Hainan delegates discussed possible areas of cooperation with Davao City.

“Hainan Province is like Davao City, which would like to flourish more in the tourism industry. They have signified their intent to have a sister city agreement with Davao City, particularly in the area of tourism,” Dayap said.

Dayap said the fruitful visit of Hainan delegates will open opportunities to further develop the city’s international relations.

Once the sisterhood agreement is forged, Sanya would be Davao City’s third sister city in China. Davao City has sister city agreements with Nanning City in Guangxi Region and Jinjang City in Quanzhou, Fujian Province.

Sisterhood agreements have worked for Davao’s advantage in the areas of tourism, economy, and environment. CIO