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Pattaya, Qingdao ink sister-city agreement

The Chinese delegation is given a tour of Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens.

Thanachot Anuwan
Pattaya officials have formalized their ties to the Chinese city of Qingdao, signing a cooperative agreement in advance of next year’s World Plant Expo.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome signed the sister-city agreement with Qingdao Deputy Mayor Liu Mingjun and Thai-Chinese Culture and Economy Association President Pinij Jarusombut Jan. 22.

Under discussion since October, the agreement calls for joint promotion and cooperation in finance, science, technology, cultural studies and tourism. It also lays the groundwork for Pattaya’s participation in the World Plant Expo.
The two cities are collaborating on a new Pattaya-Qingdao Coordination Center in the city’s Rubber Valley. Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Tropical Garden will invest more than 30 million baht to create a garden for its entry at the 2014 event.
City officials expect the plant show to boost Pattaya tourism from China, as more than 15 million people are expected to attend the expo that runs from April through October.
Pinij said Pattaya and Qingdao are similar in economy and tourism. The agreement allows for the establishment of consulates, he added.
During their visit, the Chinese officials visited Nong Nooch and saw a model of the planned center during a presentation from garden Director Kampol Tansajja.

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