MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 30, 2014) — Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council Member John Quincy and leaders from Meet Minneapolis will travel to it’s sister city of Harbin, China from Jan. 2-7, 2015,
Three days will spent in China during the overall trip to learn about and share best practices when it comes to economic development and tourism in cold zone cities.
“This is sure to be an exciting and educational trip,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Harbin and leaders from around the world to exchange ideas and participate in opportunities that will help both Minneapolis and Harbin grow and thrive.”
“Harbin is similar to Minneapolis in that it has four distinct seasons and is also a city where winter is celebrated,” said Council Member John Quincy. “Harbin clearly knows how to promote tourism and economic development in a cold weather climate and I’m sure we’ll bring back lots of ideas of things to build on in Minneapolis.”
Meet Minneapolis is coordinating with the Harbin Municipal government to plan an agenda that will help both cities learn about each other’s successes and challenges as cities with cold weather during parts of the year. Mayor Hodges will give a presentation at the Harbin International Cold Zone Development Forum and will be joined by leaders from Canada, Russia, Japan, Finland and Denmark, as well as the United Nations Development Program. Other activities and visits on the travel agenda include:
• Meetings with Harbin leaders, the Harbin Foreign Affairs Office, and other local organizations
• Snow Sculpture Expo on Sun Island
• Opening ceremony of the Harbin Cold Zone Expo
• Harbin Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
• Reception for the Harbin ice and Snow Festival
• Grand Ice and Snow World (the most famous winter sightseeing spot in Harbin and the largest ice and snow complex in the world)
• Harbin International Cold Zone Development Forum
Minneapolis established a sister city relationship with Harbin, China in 1992 and has had numerous exchanges between the two cities. The sister city relationship is supported locally by the US China People’s Friendship Association – Minnesota and a representative of the association will accompany the delegation. Harbin is located Heilongjiang Province in northeast China and its administrative area has a population of 10.6 million residents – the 7th largest city in China.