ALI DEMIRTAS, the vice consul at the Turkish Consulate General in Guangzhou, said he was amazed by how Shenzhen developed over the past 20 years while touring Yantian District in east Shenzhen with a consul delegation of around 40 people from different consulates in Guangzhou on Friday.
“When I first came to Shenzhen 20 years ago, there was only one hotel for us to stay in at that time, but look now how many skyscrapers there are in the city,” said Demirtas.
Like Demirtas, Katrin Buchta, a consul from the German Consulate General, said she found that Shenzhen had developed at a staggering speed. “The area (Yantian District) has changed a lot since three or four years ago when I visited,” said Buchta.
The two-day tour for the consul delegation was organized by the Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen and hosted by the Yantian District Government as the 14th Beach Day. Consulate officials from nearly 20 countries attended the leisure-themed tour with their family and coworkers.
According to Jose Vicente da Silva Lessa, the consul general at the Brazilian Consulate General and also the head of the delegation, the main purpose of the tour was to explore Shenzhen to find opportunities for their countries to collaborate with the city.
Lessa said possible cooperation between these countries and Shenzhen would still be in trade. “Shenzhen is a Sister City with Sao Paulo and we are looking forward to reinforcing the ties between the two cities,” said Lessa.
The delegation arrived in Shenzhen on Friday morning and spent the afternoon visiting three of the leading enterprises in Yantian District, namely the Elite Import City, the Yantian International Container Terminals and BGI.
After visiting the Elite Import City, where imported products are sold directly, Buchta commentated that the trading relationship between Germany and China has remained stable. She said that knives and utensils made in Germany were popular among Chinese consumers.
A national strategy, the “Belt and Road initiative,” was highlighted during the delegation’s tour at the Elite Import City. Hae Kwan Chung, the deputy consul general of the Republic of Korea, advised Korean companies in Shenzhen to adapt to China’s changing policy and seek to switch from manufacturing to high-technology industries.
“Kyrgyzstan will benefit by learning from Shenzhen’s experience,” said Maksat Jentimishou, the consul general of the Kyrgyz Republic. Kyrgyzstan, whose capital Bishkek is also a Sister City of Shenzhen, is among the countries on the Belt and Road project.
A welcoming feast was held for the delegation Friday night. Government officials from Yantian District took the chance to promote the coastal area.