Edinburgh signs up new partner in Creative Industry

Lord Provost Donald Wilson today committed to closer cultural and creative collaboration between Edinburgh and the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

He joined Mr Chuanjiang Yue, Director General, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which will see the establishment of joint ‘International Creative Industry Incubation Centres’ inside three years.

It is hoped that increased cooperation will harness the opportunities offered by the cities’ fast-growing cultural and creative sectors, promoting Edinburgh and Shenzhen as international creative centres and supporting the growth of local businesses into new markets.

Scotland’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, oversaw the signing in Shenzhen as part of a four-day visit to China to promote Scottish exports, expertise, education and culture.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Edinburgh is a major hub for Scotland’s creative industries and home to the world-famous Edinburgh Festivals, while Shenzhen is China’s centre for international design and culture.

“Building on Scotland’s already blossoming relationship with China, I am confident that today’s signing will open doors for Edinburgh’s creative companies to develop further links and explore exciting new business opportunities offered by both cities’ fast-growing cultural and creative sectors.”

External Affairs Minister, Humza Yousaf, said:  “In December 2011 the First Minister announced the intention to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between Shenzhen and a major Scottish city and I am glad to see that bear such rich fruit today.

“This Memorandum of Understanding will help strengthen links between these two cities and open up new opportunities for creative businesses in Scotland and China. Agreements such as this underline the growing friendship, trust and understanding between Scotland and China, to the benefit of both nations.”

The next stage of the three-year ‘Partners in Creative Industry Programme’ will see a Council-led trade mission to Shenzhen in the autumn with a reciprocal trip to Edinburgh to follow shortly after.

Once the timescales around the opening of the Incubation Centres have been finalised, a series of creative business seminars and promotion events will be arranged in Edinburgh to coincide with the launch dates. The first batch of creative companies from each city would set up soon thereafter.

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