KOTA KINABALU: Zhangjiagang City in Jiangsu province, China, has expressed its interest to become Kota Kinabalu City’s sister city.Chang Zheng, the secretary of Assets Management Company of Nanfeng Town, disclosed this when paying a courtesy visit to Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim on Wednesday.
Zhangjiagang is a port city with a land mass of 998 square kilometers and has a population close to 1.5 million.
Nanfeng Town is one of the eight towns under the administration of Zhangjiagang City.
One of the areas that the two cities can cooperate is the tourism sector, especially when Malaysia Airline introduces direct flights from Kota Kinabalu to Shanghai, which is just an hour and half driving distance from Zhangjiagang, at the end of October.
Iliyas thanked Zheng for his visit and interest in becoming a sister city.
So far, Kota Kinabalu has four sister cities, namely, Yongin City, South Korea; Ratchaburi Province, Thailand; Rockingham City, Australia and Vladivostok, Russia.
The mayor suggested the possibility of staff exchange programme to forge closer relationship between the cities or even cultural troops performing at their respective city day’s celebration.
Zheng acknowledged that the delegation’s mission is successful in exploring trade and investment opportunities in Sabah.
He hoped that Sabah and Zhangjiagang can work closely together as Zhangjiangang’s GDP of USD30,000 per capita is listed number three on the national Top 100 Cities ranking with economic strength from its industrial sector.
The city also received numerous accolades internationally and nationally such as United Nations Human Residence Prize, National Civilized City, National Ecological City, National Model City for Environmental Protection, National Hygienic City, National Landscaping City, National Advanced City for Cultural Development, National Advanced City for Scientific and Technological Development.