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A sister city relationship is a formal, long term relationship based on diverse linkages between two cities – including cultural, educational and business links.
Suva has five sister-city relationships:
City of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea
City of Beihai in People’s Republic of China
City of Seoul in Korea
City of Brighton in Tasmania, South Australia
Province of Guangdong in People’s Republic of China
Port Moresby – Papua New Guinea
The sister city relationship between Suva City and Port Moresby City was originally formed in January 1993. The focus of the relationship was on establishing goodwill, trust, understanding, and promote reciprocal exchanges for mutual prosperity. Port Moresby City and Suva City by reason of their Capital City status and geographical locations in the South Pacific held much in common. It was the belief that by this affiliation between Port Moresby and Suva will contribute to strengthening the friendship between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
The Charter/Declaration establishing the Sister City Relation between Suva City and Port Moresby City was signed in Suva by Hon. David Unagi, MP, Chairman/Mayor of the National Capital District Commission of Port Moresby City and Lord Mayor of Suva Dr. Senikarawa Buadromo. In signing the Charter, and on behalf of Port Moresby City, Hon. David Unagi presented to the Lord Mayor a cheque in the amount of F$15,000 as their donation towards Fiji’s Cyclone Kina Appeal.
Port Moresby City has benefitted in many ways through on-the-job training attachments of their Staff and Officers with the Suva City Council in the areas of Engineering, Town Planning, Health and Administration & Operation.
Beihai City – People’s Republic of China
The sister city relationship between Beihai City was made possible in 1998 through a fact finding mission arranged by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Beihai is in the Province of Guangxi in South China. Known as the “Pearl City of the Coastal South”, and situated at the southernmost tip of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a Province in South China. It has a total population of 558,635 people according to the UN survey in 2000. It covers a total land area of 1288 sq.mi. Beihai is rich in sea resources and is classified as one of China’s riches fishing grounds.
Produces one of the world’s best pearl, a rare sea resource that fetches lucrative world market. Pearl farming is one of their major attractions.
Beihai Municipal Government is similar to the role of a Central Government, where more authority and power is given to the Local Government to determine the economic development and progress of the city. It has an international airport that provides easy access link in and out of China. Has the best tourism destination with major attractions and cultural centers.
Talks began in 1997 to create this relation when Lord Mayor Ratu Meli Vakarewakobau was at the helm of the Council and at the end of his term, his successor Councillor Dhansukh Lal Bhika continued the effort and in 1998 authorized his Deputy, Councillor Mataiasi Vave Ragigia to travel with a team to Beihai City to sign the official Agreement formally establishing the Sister City Relationship between the City of Suva and the City of Beihai.
Agreement, signed on April 2, 1998, focuses on both the Cities to develop friendly relations, build up strong economic cooperation and exchange in the areas of science, technology, culture, education and fishery.
A high powered delegation from Beihai City arrived on 1st June 1998 to have bilateral talks with the view to set up joint business venture with the Suva City Council. The second delegation arrived and held talks on 26th October 1998 with the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Fiji Trade & Investment Board. They also visited farms such as Viti Corp, Pacific Prawns and Waiyanitu Piggery Farm. Apart from a few other visits by some officials, no further exchanges between the two Cities took place.
Seoul City – Korea
Sister Cities Relationship between Seoul City and Suva City was established when the Lord Mayor of Suva, Councillor Mataiasi Vave Ragigia represented Fiji at the Convocation of World Leaders which was held in conjunction with the World Culture and Sports Festival in Seoul, Korea, from February 9th to 14th, 2000. Invitation was sent from the Family Federation of World Peace and Unification.
The Lord Mayor took the opportunity of this visit to further relations between Suva City and the City of Seoul. Firstly it was an opportunity for the Lord Mayor to meet with some world leaders so as to promote Suva to the rest of the world in a spirit of peace and unification. The second aspect of the visit was the meetings held with Jang-Hyun Song, the Governor or YongSan-Gu, resulting in the two Cities signing a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation and Exchanges. A delegation from YongSan-Gu arrived in Suva on Monday, 27th March 2000 and signed a formal Friendship Treaty between the City of Suva and the City of YongSan-Gu.
Brighton City, Tasmania – Australia
At the invitation of the Management of Brighton City Council, Director Finance Apaitia Veiogo and Director Engineering Services Jagdish Singh travelled to Tasmania in late 2009 for a familiarization tour of their Municipality.
As a result of this visit and subsequent exchange of communications, an idea was mooted by Brighton City Council to create sister relation to enable Suva freely source information and assistance for capacity building. This idea became a reality in 2010 when a Memorandum of Understanding was achieved and the focus was for establishing business relationship between Brighton City and Suva City.
Suva City Council benefitted from their professional advice to improving the IT System and bought Property-Wise System, a package used by Council since 2009. Brighton City Council is still assisting Suva City Council in Property-Wise and additional module on Garbage Fee Collection which was done in 2011.
Guangdong Province – People’s Republic of China
The idea to create sister relation with some Cities in China was mooted by Special Administrator Chandra Kant Umaria when Ambassador Han Zhiqiang of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China paid him a courtesy visit in October 2010.
As early as November 2010, Mr. Han Zhiqiang informed the Special Administrator that a 7-member Guangdong Friendly Delegation led by Mr. Zheng Yongju, Deputy Counsel of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Government of Guangdong Province of China, was going to visit Fiji from 10th to 15th December, 2010, and would like to have talks and exchange views on bilateral cooperation, among which propose sister cities relationship between Suva and Guangdong Province.
The second Delegation from Guangdong Province visited Suva in 2011 and laid a solid foundation for the establishment of the sister relations. The third Delegation arrived in July, 2011, and continued the talks for sister relation resulting in a draft Agreement being drawn for consideration by both the sides.
Then in October, 2011, the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangdong Province invited a Delegation from Suva to attend their Annual Tourism Festival and as part of the program, suggested that both sides can take advantage of the festive week to sign the Agreement for Establishment of Sister Cities Relationship between the Guangdong Province and Suva City.
Council concurred and accordingly, Special Administrator Chandra Kant Umaria accompanied by City Lawyer Zulfikar Sahu Khan and Acting Administrative Officer Saverio Ieli travelled to the People’s Republic of China by courtesy of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China based in Suva.
In signing the Agreement dated 6th November, 2011, both Guangdong Province and Suva City agreed to make concerted efforts, on the basis of equality and mutual benefits, to promote people-to-people friendly contacts and economic and trade interflow, and actively carry out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, science and technology, culture, sports, health, education, personnel, etc., Governor Zhu Xiaodan of Guangdong Province and Special Administrator Chandra Kant Umaria were signatories to the Agreement.
Sister Relations Explored but Not Confirmed with the following cities:-
Taipei City – Taiwan Province of the People’s Republic of China
Taipei is the Capital City of Taiwan Province of the People’s Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan Island. It is located 25km southwest of Keelung, its Port on the Pacific Ocean. Taipei was founded in the 18th century and it is the political, economic and cultural centre of Taiwan.
The idea to create a sister relation between Taipei City and Suva City was mooted in 1997 when the Resident Representative of Taiwan, Mr. Chi-Kun Ning, based at the Trade Mission of Taiwan in Suva paid a courtesy visit on Lord Mayor Ratu Meli Vakarewakobau.
The Trade Mission liaised and with Taipei, as a result, a few delegations from Taipei visited the Mayor and discussed business including Twinning Cities Exchange Program proposal for developing friendly relations and building strong economic cooperation and exchange between the two Cities, especially in the areas of Science and Technology, Culture, Education and Fishery.
Agreement for Establishment of a Sister City Relationship between Taipei City and Suva City was prepared for signing in the City of Taipei on 28th May 1998, but unfortunately did not eventuate for political reasons.
Santa Barbara – United States of America
Lord Mayor Dhansukh Lal Bhika wrote to Mayor Gil Cornea Garcia of the City of Santa Barbara in 1999 for possible creation of sister relation but unfortunately did not eventuate for lack of interest.
Sacramento City – United States of America
Fiji’s Ambassador Napolioni Masirewa based in New York, USA, obliged to Council’s request to explore possibility of creating sister relation with some Cities in the United States of America, and, in writing to Lord Mayor Dhansukh Lal Bhika on 8th June 1999, proposed considering the City of Sacramento for possible Twin Cities Exchange Program but unfortunately this proposal did not eventuate.
Sister City – City of Auburn, Washington DC – United States of America
Council resolved on 31st May, 2005, to accept the request of the Mayor of Auburn in Washington DC USA to establish links with the City of Suva. Hon. Peter B. Lewis, The Mayor, City of Auburn, 25 West Main Street, Auburn WA 98001-4998, USA. –