CK Signs Agreement With Chinese City

CK Mayor Randy Hope and Zhang Xiaohua, the vice chair of the Changchun Municipal Committee, sign a cooperation agreement at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, December 12, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Pitchi Robin via Twitter)

Chatham-Kent and the Chinese city of Changchun have entered into an agreement in an effort to promote economic growth between the two communities.

Friday afternoon, CK Mayor Randy Hope and Zhang Xiaohua, the vice chair of the Changchun Municipal Committee, signed a cooperation agreement in a ceremony held at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre. Along with the economic benefits, the agreement also promotes an educational and cultural exchange.

Chatham-Kent Director of Economic Development Services Michael Burton says the agreement gives Chatham-Kent a leg up in attracting businesses to the municipality.

“We have been to Changchun and it’s a major automotive parts and automotive assembly area,” he says. “There are many automotive parts manufacturers in that area that would be interested in getting a foothold in North America. So we would obviously like that foothold to be Chatham-Kent.”

Burton says the next step is get into more in depth talks with potential investors. Burton could not elaborate on any current potential deals within Changchun, but says there are currently two significant China-based deals in the works for Chatham-Kent. He says one deal would see a China-based company investing close to $50-million within the municipality, and the other would be an investment of over $1-billion.