The Sister City Agreement for the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation and deeper understanding between Davao City and Tai’an Municipal People’s Government for the exchange of ideas culture and tourism, trade, research, and development, has been signed by representatives of the cities on August 4, 2023, at Arcadia Event Center.

The agreement was signed by Mayor Sebastian Baste Duterte and Mr. Yang Hongtao, Secretary of the Communist Party of China Tai’an Municipal Committee.

In an interview with Davao City Investment and Promotion Officer-In-Charge April Dayap, it was late 2021 when Tai’an City signified that it wanted to be Davao’s sister city.

She said that further exchange of communications, which established the intention of Tai’an to forge sisterhood ties in 2022, led to the approval of the Davao City Council of the legislative authority for the mayor to sign the sister city agreement.

“This is already the fourth sister city agreement with China,” she said, adding that there is also another Chinese City that expressed intent to forge sister city ties with Davao.

The Sister City Agreement Signing was attended by eight officials and two business sector representatives from Tai’an City and the delegation from Davao City was composed of representatives from the executive department, legislative department, and overseas Chinese associations present in Davao City.

Mayor Baste Duterte, in his speech during the event, said that the forging of bonds with Tai’an opened the doors to potential trade and investment opportunities to stimulate the local economy. It also promotes peace and understanding in an increasingly interconnected world, he added.

“City Government of Davao looks forward to meaningful collaborations with Tai’an,” the mayor said.

The mayor highlighted the importance of people-to-people connection as the heartbeat of the initiative, underscoring the importance of the warm welcome of visitors and participants from respective cities.

Yang also expressed gratitude to the Davao City Mayor and expressed his hopes after the visit.

“We sincerely hope that this visit will further deepen the friendly relations between the two cities. Let us work hand in hand to carry out pragmatic exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economy, technology, education, tourism, culture, and agriculture to achieve complementary advantages and win-win cooperation and promote shared prosperity,” Yang said, briefly discussing his city’s background.

Tai’an was named after Mt. Tai, located in the central part of Shandong province, with a total area of 7,762 square kilometers and a population of 5.4 million. It has been recognized as a National Civilized City, a National Historical and Cultural City, and a recipient of various other accolades such as the China Habitat Environment Award, and the National Garden City.

Mt. Tai is one of the five great mountains of China declared as a world heritage site and a symbol of Chinese History and national spirit.

Yang added that the city holds “a solid industrial foundation” with abundant minerals and a focus on a modern industrial system. He disclosed that his city has an ecologically adventurous environment, enjoys transportation advantages, and has notable strength in education and science.

Tai’an, according to Yang, is also one of the first batch of cities designated by the state council for foreign tourism. It has continuously expanded exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, tourism, culture, and education. CIO