The final activities of the 2015-16 China element of the World Cities work programme took place in Chengdu and Shantou between 14-19 March. A party of 30 represents from the European partner regions of Dublin & Fingal (Ireland), Barcelona (Spain), Andalusia (Spain), Lyon (France) and West Midlands (United Kingdom) was led by Walter Deffaa Director General of DG REGIO and Ronald Hall Principle Advisor to DG REGIO.
The West Midlands party of 4 consisted of Mark Schneider Director of WMES, Martin Levermore Chair of Medilink UK, Stephen Shorthouse Director of Coventry University Enterprises Ltd and John Carr Business Board Member of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
As well as offering an opportunity to review the activities that had been delivered by the World Cities programme over the last 12 months, there was also a chance for the members of the party to meet with representatives from Chinese local authorities, businesses and universities to discuss collaboration and the development of economic opportunities. A number of meetings took place with representatives from the Chinese National and local Development and Reform Commission. Visits were organised to the Tianfu New District in Chengdu and the new coastal city Zhugang New Town under construction near Shantou.