(BEDFORD) - A delegation from Fenghua, China will be in Bedford today and Tuesday.
Their trip began in New York and will end in San Francisco.
Local leaders developed a foreign investment strategy in 2011. In February, Yang Guoqiang, consul general of the People's Republic of China in Chicago, visited Bedford.
In June, a local delegation from Bedford made a 11-day trade mission to China. During that trip, the city of Bedford and the City of Fenghua signed an agreement to become a friendship city.
Jamie Medlock, president of the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis and Lawrence County Economic Growth Council Executive Director Gene McCracken signed the agreement alongside Fenghua's local leaders.
The memorandum agreement means the two communities will cooperate on the exchange of economy, trade, science, technology, tourism, education and personnel training in an effort to promote common prosperity and development.
The original agreement will be reviewed after five years.
Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis says the visit will bring Bedford one step closer to formalizing the sister-city relationship. Girgis says the relationship will increase opportunities for cultural and education exchange, as well as, future business opportunities that can increase the number of good paying jobs.
The delegation from China will tour a few local business sites, such as the GM Bedford Casting Plant and Architectural Stone. They'll also take a look at some other facilities, such as Otis Park and Bedford North Lawrence High School and others.
Mike Kern vice president with Gaylor Inc., an electrical contracting company also services as chairman of the Lawrence County Foreign Investment Committee.
Kern says the establishment of sister cities is held with great importance in the Chinese culture and is a long-term investment that must be constantly nurtured and will be a valuable and long standing relationship that will be beneficial to both cities far into the future.
Gene McCracken, executive director of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, echoed those remarks. McCracken also was on the summer trip to Asia. He says it is through partnerships such as this that future investment and growth will take place.
Members of the Chinese delegation include:
* Mr. Lin Pinghai, consultant of Fenghua Municipal People's Government and the delegation head.
* Mr. Zhang Chunbao, deputy director of the Fenghua Municipal People's Government Office.
* Ms. Dai Yueping, secretary general of the Fenghua Friendship Association.
* Ms. Zhu Peidong, deputy director of the Rural Work Office of the Fenghua Municipal People's Government.
* Ms. Zhu Weifen, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Fenghua Municipal People's Government.
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