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FUTIAN District signed a memorandum to establish a friendly exchange relationship Monday with Oakville, a suburban town in Ontario, Canada, sources from the district foreign affairs office said.

Oakville is the fifth urban area that Futian has entered into a friendly exchange relationship with in recent years after ties with Iiyama in Japan, Issy-les-Moulineaux in France, Togliatti in Russia, and Gangnam District in South Korea. Futian ranked first among all districts and new areas in Shenzhen in terms of the number of urban areas that it had entered into friendly exchange relationships with, the officials said. 

In July 2016, Victor Oh, the second Canadian senator of Chinese descent, and Rob H. Burton, mayor of Oakville, were invited by the Futian District Government to visit Futian to deliberate over cooperation between the two areas in terms of economic, trade and educational development. The proposal to enter Futian and Oakville into a friendly exchange relationship was also brought up and discussed.

The visit officially paved the way for cooperation between the Futian District Government and its counterpart in Oakville and laid a solid foundation for the signing of the memorandum. 

With the consensus established during the first meeting, He Jie, vice head of the Futian government, led a delegation to visit Oakville this month and officially signed the cooperation memorandum, bringing the friendship between the two areas to a whole new level.

Oakville is the first city in North America to sign such a cooperation memorandum with Futian District. 

Situated in southern Ontario, Oakville’s main industries include automobile manufacturing, electrical equipment and oil refining. Both Ford and Siemens have headquarters there.

Accommodating the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Shenzhen’s central business district, Futian District focuses its business in multiple industries, including finance, high-end service, high technology and culture. It has made itself into a multifunctional international urban center, covering elements of politics, economy, culture, transportation and information. 

As two powerful engines for the development of their cities and provinces, Futian and Oakville share a lot of mutually beneficial features, so the potential for their cooperation is huge and meaningful.

In 2016, the total value of Futian’s imports and exports reached US$118.6 billion, of which US$104 million in exports and US$120 million in imports came from its trade with Canada. The prospects of cooperation between Futian and Oakville are broad and promising, Futian officials said.