The leaders of Finland's 21 largest cities decided at their meeting on 29 August to strengthen their co-operation in matters relating to China.
To improve the effectiveness of their China co-operation, the cities will establish a China-focused co-operation network between the cities, the aim of which is to strengthen the exchange of information and the interaction between the cities and to identify concrete themes and areas of co-operation, where joint actions and operations between the cities are needed.
The co-operation starts in the fields of tourism, winter sports and sustainable development. The cities are already co-operating with China, but thus far, the co-operation between the cities has been sporadic in matters relating to China. At the same time, China's importance as a potential partner and in the international city co-operation has grown substantially.
The co-operation may result in multiple benefits, such as increased business opportunities and investments, a growing number of tourists and income from tourism as well as improved visibility and recognition for the cities.
The full potential of this is best reached through improving the mutual interaction and co-operation of the largest cities. Through a more goal-oriented and systematic co-operation, the cities with a more established China co-operation can offer their expertise to a broader extent to the city network.
This can bring substantial gains to the relations and co-operation between Finnish and Chinese cities, and to the Sino-Finnish relations and co-operation in wider terms. The network also adds to the national China strategy and creates better conditions for the co-operation between the government and the cities in related matters.
The leaders of Finland's 21 largest cities met at the C21 cities meeting in Turku on 9 August 2018. The discussions concerning the China co-operation will continue at the next C21 meeting in Espoo on 16 November 2018.