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Thursday September 13, 2012

Mayor: PJ-Guangzhou ties to improve urban transformation

ON a common mission to cut carbon footprint, push for investments of greener businesses and exchange of innovative ideas, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Guangzhou City Government in China has forge a sister-city partnership via a letter of intent.

Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman, who visited Guangzhou last month with four councillors and several staff members, said the partnership was aimed at exchanging ideas with Guangzhou on their urban transformation that has seen it reaching international levels better than Singapore.

Guangzhou is the capital and larg est city of Guangdong province.

It is the third largest Chinese city and southern China’s largest city.

According to the Economist Business Intelligence Unit report in July 2012, Guangzhou was recently named as one of the 13 emerging megacities in China and is known to be taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint.

“Guangzhou’s urban structure is of much higher standard than Hong Kong. Only thing is that the shopping experience is not as ‘happening’ as that in Hongkong. On shopping, we in PJ have some good shopping complexes that offers great food and we want Guangzhou businessmen to invest in PJ,” he said.

Roslan added that PJ was a growing city with tall buildings emerging.

“With the rapid redevelopment, we must also tackle pollution. Six years ago Guangzhou was a polluted city but due to their strong determination to host the Asian Games 2010, all the factories within 3,845 sq km from the city area were relocated about 50km away.

“Even the Baiyun International Airport had to move out from the city,” he said.

He added that PJ wanted to learn from Guangzhou on their approaches in making the city greener.

MBPJ councillors Tiew Way King, Chan Chee Kong, Maharul Ismail and Ghazali Shaari together with public relations officer Zainun Zakaria, Planning department director Sharipah Marhaini, One-Stop Centre chief Lee Lih Shyan and the council’s cultural team participated in the Guangzhou Fair 2012.

State exco for local government Ronnie Liu headed the delegation and MBPJ had its own PJ Gallery to promote its green efforts, innovations and potential for foreign businesses to invest in the city and Selangor.

Roslan said Guangzhou has a lot to offer PJ in terms of sustainable facilities, creating new growth, innovation and investing in PJ thus creating more jobs for graduates from the many private and public universities.

According to Roslan, the Guang-zhou City general foreign deputy director Zeng Qing Zhuan was pleased with the PJ delegation and promised to visit PJ in the near future with government officials and entrepreneurs wanting to expand their business.

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