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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Shanghai is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River in East China. It is one of the largest cities by population in the world, with some 23 million citizens. As a major financial centre with one of the busiest ports in the world, Shanghai has significant international influence.

Sister-City Relationship Background

The proposal for Dunedin to establish a sister-city relationship with Shanghai was first mooted in 1992, before being formalised during a visit by a Shanghai delegation to Dunedin in October 1994. The relationship was renewed in September 2008 and again in April 2013.

The Dunedin City Council considers this personal yet formal link with China as one that can provide significant economic opportunities. The relationship also recognises the strong influence of Chinese on Otago history, and the involvement of the local Chinese population has been an important factor in developing the relationship.

The relationship is a powerful driver behind Project Shanghai , a partnership of Dunedin businesses, educational institutions and the Dunedin City Council which aims to develop a broad range of links between the two cities.

The Dunedin Shanghai Association

It is not surprising with the number of Chinese residents in Dunedin, that a committee of interested citizens was formed soon after the sister city relationship was formalised. The Dunedin Shanghai Association’s (DSA) mission statement is:

"To promote and facilitate good relations between Shanghai and Dunedin for the benefit of the Dunedin business and wider Dunedin community, and our Shanghainese counterparts."

The Association plays a key role in introducing and facilitating business, cultural, education and sports links between Dunedin groups and their Shanghai counterparts. It also hosts and facilitates a wide range of visitors and delegations from Shanghai. This role is reciprocated by the City of Shanghai in terms of visits to Shanghai by Dunedin delegations.

For direct information about the Dunedin Shanghai Association contact:

  • Project Shanghai Achievements

    Dunedin and Shanghai Mayors with certificate

    Dunedin and Shanghai have exchanged delegation visits on several occasions in the past. With the creation of Project Shanghai, these visits have become more specifically targeted toward strengthening economic as well as cultural and political ties between the two cities.

    The latest visit took place in April 2013 with a group of Dunedin City Councillors and staff, and Dunedin business and education leaders taking part in numerous official events.

    Shanghai Yu Garden

    The Dunedin Delegation report gives extensive details of activities during the visit.

    Sister City Memorandum of Understanding

    The Mayors of Dunedin and Shanghai renewed the cities’ official sister city relationship with the signing of this document. In doing so they agreed to “conduct mutually beneficial cooperation from 2013 to 2015” in the areas of:

    • Business and trade
    • Education
    • Tourism
    • Culture and sports
    • Botany and horticulture
    • Law and justice
    • Healthcare
    • Women’s acitivities.


    ‘Sister School’ relationships were created when five Dunedin high schools signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with five Shanghai high schools selected by the Shanghai Education Commission. The high schools are:

    • Kaikorai Valley College - No. 2 secondary school attached to Tongji University
    • Logan Park – Gumei Senior High School
    • Kavanagh College – Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School
    • Otago Boys – Shanghai No. 8 Senior High School
    • Otago Girls – Guangming High School.

    Tertiary and secondary scholarships and exchange programmes were offered by Dunedin institutions.

    Otago Polytechnic progressed further relationships with educational institutions in Shanghai and throughout China.


    The Delegation met the Vice Chairman of Shanghai Tourism Authority and discussed strengthening cooperation in the tourism sector between Shanghai and Dunedin.

    Food and Beverage

    Delegates met Shanghai Import Companies and an online trading company to discuss opportunities for Dunedin food and beverage companies to enter the China market.


    An MOU was signed between the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Zizhu Chamber of Commerce. Zizhu represents a group of hi-tech businesses in a privately-owned technology park. Members of the two Chambers discussed research and development collaboration opportunities.

    Video of Events

    Check news and updates on Project Shanghai - Growing Dunedin's Economy

  • Project Shanghai Future Plans

    Shanghai delegation visit

    Prospectus for Dunedin

    A prospectus is being developed for marketing the city within Shanghai and internationally.

    Future delegation visits

    • A trade delegation from Dunedin led by the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the City will again visit Shanghai in October 2013. This visit is expected to further discussions begun in the April 2013 visit, with a focus on developing education, food and beverage, and hi-tech opportunities.
    • 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Shanghai and Dunedin. A mayoral delegation is tentatively planned to occur within the first quarter of 2014.

    Check news and updates on Project Shanghai  - Growing Dunedin's Economy (link to external website, new window)

  • Project Shanghai Links


    Shanghai Municipal People's Government (link to external website, new window)

    Shanghai International Chamber of Commerce (link to external website, new window)

    Zizhu Chamber of Commerce (link to external website, new window)

    This chamber represents a privately owned technology park in Shanghai containing dozens of hi-tech businesses. Zizhu is recognised as a Chinese national level high technology research zone.

    Shanghai Education Commission (link to external website, new window)

    This Commission has overarching administrative responsibilities for education institutions in Shanghai. Included in those responsibilities is the centralized management of foreign exchange within the education system. Therefore the Commission is a key contact when arranging Secondary and tertiary exchange programmes between Dunedin and Shanghai.

    Shanghai Tourism Bureau (link to external website, new window)

    The Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) is a regulating arm of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. It is also responsible for promoting Shanghai’s travel industry and products in domestic and overseas markets.


    Otago Chamber of Commerce (link to external website, new window)

    The Chamber represents the business interests of Otago with a non-political, business membership based organisation. It has a partnership relationship with the DCC for Project Shanghai.

    Education Dunedin (link to external website, new window)

    Education Dunedin supports the attraction of international students to Dunedin. It represents and markets Dunedin’s secondary schools, University, Polytechnic and language schools to peer organisations around the globe.

    Otago Polytechnic (link to external website, new window)

    Otago Polytechnic provides excellent learning experiences for a wide range of learners, nationally and internationally. It prepares learners for successful and fulfilling careers in a wide range of trades, industries and professions.

    University of Otago (link to external website, new window)

    New Zealand’s first University, founded in 1869. The University of Otago provides a research-led learning environment with a reputation for excellence. It offers opportunities to study Science, Health Sciences, Humanities and Commerce.

    Enterprise Dunedin (link to external website, new window)

    Tourism Dunedin is the Regional Tourism Organisation responsible for promoting Dunedin, New Zealand, as an international and domestic visitor destination.

    Otago Southland Employers’ Association (link to external website, new window)

    The Association assists its business members to be successful through services including comprehensive employment law advice, human resources, industrial relations, health & safety, professional development and support.

    Dunedin Shanghai Association (link to external website, new window)

    This group’s aim is "To promote and facilitate good relations between Shanghai and Dunedin for the benefit of the Dunedin business and wider Dunedin community and our Shanghainese counterparts".

    To find out more about Project Shanghai please contact: Business Development Advisor via

    Check news and updates on Project Shanghai  - Growing Dunedin's Economy (link to external website, new window)

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