Belfast Lord Mayor hails 'new era' in relations with China after business summit
Belfast's Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister has welcomed a "new era" in relations with China, following a three-day summit on business links between the nation and Northern Ireland.
The UK-China regional leaders summit in Belfast brought together some 100 delegates including politicians, business leaders experts from the tourism industry, creative sectors and education, to develop links between the two countries.
Fifty Chinese provincial and municipal leaders attended to represent areas including Shanghai, Shenyang and Changchun - representing a total population of around 110 million people.
Northern Ireland was represented by figures from Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University, Bombardier; Chinese Welfare Association,Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland.
The summit focused on the role of technology in increasing links between the two nations, with delegates visiting Belfast's new Immersive Technology Hub which is housed in the former Belfast Telegraph offices in the city.
Delegates were welcomed at Belfast City Hall on Sunday by Nuala McAllister, who hosted a reception for the officials.
Ms McAllister said: "This is a new era for UK-Chinese relations and we are delighted that we are meeting to agree tangible areas of co-operation under our Sister City Agreement.
"Industries such as tourism, fintech, creative, health and innovative technology are growth areas for both Belfast and Shenyang so co-operation like this can only be mutually beneficial to both our cities."
She added: "I am delighted that I, and the party group leaders, and Deputy Consul General Zhu have been able to welcome the delegation to Belfast City Hall and celebrate their visit with our long-standing Chinese community, the local universities, Confucius, business and tourism colleagues."