Genuine pleasure and excitement were expressed by Nanning Municipal People’s Government Deputy Mayor Liu Weimin when informed that Bundaberg had won the major Sister Cities Award at presentations held in Perth last week.
Council Deputy Mayor Bill Trevor, who led a Bundaberg delegation to Nanning, informed the Chinese Deputy Mayor of the award at a formal meeting of the delegation and government representatives held in Nanning last Friday.
Mr Liu was delighted that Bundaberg had won the award for Best Overall Sister City Program for its Bundaberg/Nanning 20-year anniversary celebrations held last year and a second award for its work in Trade and Tourism between the cities.
Cr Trevor said he was looking forward to a visit to Bundaberg from a Nanning delegation in the near future so a copy of the award could be presented to representatives of that city.
Mr Liu was also upbeat about the possibilities of establishing Chinese business opportunities in Bundaberg to value add to export crops currently being grown in the Bundaberg Region.
Cr Trevor said job creation would certainly flow from any such initiative.
Mr Liu said Nanning valued its association with Bundaberg and was pleased to be able to offer a scholarship to Chinese speaking students from Bundaberg to attend studies in Nanning.
While a scholarship is already currently in existence between Nanning and Bundaberg, the new scholarship was a little more flexible.
He said the scholarship, which could be offered to a “gap year” student (those who have just completed Year 12) or to a first or second year university students was for a period of either three or six months.
The scholarship would cover all costs including tuition and accommodation.
Cr Trevor told Mr Liu that education and medical infrastructure were among the growth industries in the Bundaberg Region.
He said CQUniversity had some exciting initiatives planned to attract Chinese students and that Bundaberg was being considered as the site for a partnership with NASA for a Challenger Learning Centre.
Mr Liu and Cr Trevor exchanged gifts on behalf of their respective cities with Cr Trevor providing an ornate bowl made from locally grown macadamia husks while Mr Liu presented a piece of framed contemporary Chinese art.
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