Reported by the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle
DALIAN -- Dalian and the City of Bellevue signed a cooperative agreement here during the trip at a formal dinner with Mayor Grant Degginger of Bellevue and Mayor Xia Deren of Dalian.
A huge red banner hung above the banquet room proclaiming the "Signing Ceremony of the Agreement of Economic and Trade Cooperation Between the City of Dalian and the City of Bellevue." The banner was quite accurate and pointed toward a somewhat different relationship than the traditional "sister city" arrangements that exist now. This was a case where the two cities want to exploit their similarities in business and culture.
"This is a new relationship," said Degginger. "It is not a traditional sister city relationship, but one that will work on our mutual interests."
The agreement came together over the past six months, with Bellevue Councilmember Conrad Lee taking the lead. Lee has traveled to Dalian twice in the past six months to put the details together.
Connections? Bellevue obviously has a strong presence in software, computer games and other high-tech businesses. Dalian has become one of the software centers of China, with a strong computer graphics and computer games center as well. A very natural fit.
Bellevue is also much more diverse a community than many may realize. More than a third of Bellevue's population is foreign born and it is 25 percent Asian.
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