The city of Guangzhou is located in Guangdong province in the Pearl River Delta area of China and was formally known as Canton.  Guangzhou is a significant city in China, ranked as its third largest  in population terms.  In fact, around 13 million people call the city home. What’s more, in the immediate urban area around the city there are up to 40 million people if you include the satellite cities of Shenzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan.

The area of the Pearl River Delta has boomed with the export led growth that has driven China’s economy since the early 1980s. Guangzhou has prospered in this time and is seen as a wealthy, and, for China at least, a relatively liberal city being at the forefront of emerging urban policy and thinking.

Birmingham’s relationship with Guangzhou began formally in 2006 and there is a strong programme of cooperation and work between the two cities.

Following the establishment of the sister city relations, the University of Birmingham established a full time office in Guangzhou and there are significant academic link-ups with universities and medical institutions in there. Birmingham Head Quartered law firm Wragge & Co also have a full time office in Guangzhou and business links continue to grow between the two cities.

Guangzhou is a key city for outbound investment into the Greater Birmingham region and a delegation was led by Sir Albert Bore in November 2013 to the city to discuss investment and direct flight issues with the Mayor of Guangzhou, Mayor Chen. In addition to this Birmingham City Council and partners are looking at further cooperation in the sports and culture sectors with Guangzhou contributing to Longbridge Light Festival run by EC Arts.

Birmingham City Council has helped train over 200 of Guangzhou Municipal Government’s civil servants in cooperation with the school of Local Government at the University of Birmingham. This programme will continue this year.

Further information about Guangzhou (in English) is available here: City of Guangzhou
Guangzhou tourism office