Provo is looking to give local businesses international opportunities, and they're doing it in par, by hosting a delegation from Nanning, China.
Nanning is a sister-city to Provo, and the two municipalities share information and ideas, and provide access to business opportunities.
The Nanning delegation included the city's Vice-Mayor, Huang Huansheng, interpreters, businessmen and other government officials.
The relationship between the two cities started six and a half years ago, and Provo Mayor Lewis Billings says that the results are tremendously positive.
"There has been clear value, we believe, for businesses in our area," said Billings of the sister-city program.
Billings said the relationship that has been developed between the two cities has really helped to open doors for local business. As evidence, Billings pointed to Nu Skin's first retail store in China being in Nanning.
Billings called Nanning a "very progressive city."
Huang said that the 6.7 million people of Nanning also benefited from the exchange. "Provo city is an advanced city in an advanced country."
The vice-mayor listed their three goals for the trip -- expanding business opportunities, creating friendship and learning.
"We are at different levels, and we have a lot to learn," Huang said.
Huang and Billings shared a jovial meeting together during their formal news conference, and traded jokes about how Huang thinks that Billings resembles former President Bill Clinton.
This was the fourth trip by a Nanning delegation. Billings announced that Provo plans to send a delegation to China in about one year.
There have been two other delegations.
"We are glad to have a connection with such an important economic partner," said Billings.
Nathan Johnson can be reached at email@example.com
Encompasses about 22,000 square Km
6.7 million people
The city is in sub-tropical China.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D1.