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Clare forges new relationships in China

A delegation comprising officials and members of Clare County Council travelled to the southwest of China to officially mark the County/Province relationship as well as establish a formal link between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark) in Yunnan.

Local Government and Government officials from County Clare and the Chinese Province of Yunnan signed an agreement aimed at developing closer industrial, tourism, farming, educational and cultural ties between the regions.
 
A delegation comprising officials and members of Clare County Council travelled to the southwest of China to officially mark the County/Province relationship as well as establish a formal link between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark) in Yunnan.
 
Yunnan, which has a population of more than 46 million, is located in the far southwest of China and borders Vietnam, Laos and Burma.
 
Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, who tabled a Council motion calling for a twinning arrangement between the two regions to be explored in 2012 following the visit of the Chinese President to Clare, commented:
 
This is a historic occasion for the people of County Clare and Yunnan Province. Though separated by thousands of miles, this agreement we are committing ourselves to will seek to bridge the gap through a shared spirit of cooperation, mutual understanding, exchange of knowledge and more importantly, friendship
 
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr. John Crowe being received by Gao Shuxun, Vice Governor of Yunnan Province at Zhenzhaung Hall, Kunming Yunnan in South East China prior to the formal signing of Agreements between Clare County Council and the Province of Yunnan.
 
Speaking today at the Zhenzhuang Hall in Kunming, Yunnan where the formal agreements were signed, the Cathaoirleach said the signing of the agreements builds on a “rapidly developing China-Ireland relationship“.
 
It is fantastic to see the level of diplomatic exchanges between Ireland and China continuing to expand and grow. Last month saw the lifting of the ban on Irish beef imports and China and the good news is that beef producers in Ireland are expected to be selling into China by the autumn. In the past week alone County Clare has been visited by Chinese Vice President Li Keqiang and separately by the Chinese Minister for Water Resources, who inspected the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric power plant in East Clare.”
 
The presence of direct flights between Shannon International Airport in County Clare to Paris where there is a direct connection to Kunming International Airport provides excellent onward connectivity to and from China. This should greatly assist both parties in nurturing the friendship we are officially marking today,” added Councillor Crowe.
 
Pictured signing the Friendship Agreement between County Clare and Yunnan Province at Zhenzhuang Hall, Kunming, China are Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr. John Crowe (left) and Gao Shuxun, Vice Governor of Yunnan Province.
 
Speaking following the signing of the five-year Geopark relationship, Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council said: “Like the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, Yunnan Stone Forest Geopark is renowned for its karst landscape and it is also a UNESCO recognised Geopark. Clare County Council and the Yunnan provincial government have recognised these common links and therefore, I am delighted that both organisations have now officially committed to exploring the potential to generate positive tourism, educational and farming benefits for both regions.
 
The agreement that is being signed today will ultimately enable the two parties to share experience of success and marketing platforms, create tourism brands and set up exchange mechanisms.
 
Those involved in the day-to-day operation of both Geoparks have much to learn from each other but it is clear that this agreement lays the foundations for a mutually beneficial relationship, one that can be nurtured and developed further in the future,” added Mr. Coughlan.
 
The Clare delegation is scheduled to return to Ireland on May 21.

 

Photo caption: Pictured at Zhenzhuang Hall, Kunming, Yunnan where the agreement on the establishment of a Friendship Park Relationship between the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, Clare and Stone Forest Geopark of Yunnan Province in South East China was signed were (seated left) Tom Coughlan Chief Executive, Clare County Council and Zhou Linchun, Director, Administration Bureau of Stone Forest National Park. Standing (left to right) Cllr. Tony O’Brien, Deputy Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, Cll.r John Crowe, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, Gao Shuxun, Vice Governor of Yunnan Province, Cui Zhitao, Councillor, People’s Government of Yunnan Province and Yang Bi, Vice Mayor, Kunming Municipal Government.
 
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