A delegation from the Vietnamese city of Ha Tinh recently visited the Township of Langley.
"We enjoyed this opportunity to host officials from Vietnam and show them what Langley Township does to successfully promote tourism and enhance the economy in our community," said Economic Development manager Gary MacKinnon. "We hope they learn a lot and return home with ideas that will generate positive changes."
The exchange was made through Municipal Partners for Economic Development (MPED), a global program created by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM), which is funded through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The main purpose of the initiative is to support fair, sustainable economic development in several developing countries.
The FCM partnered with the Association of Cities of Vietnam to encourage municipal cooperation and create efficient and effective services in Vietnam. Ha Tinh City was paired with the Township of Langley for a two-year partnership.
From June 29 to July 9, secretary Ngo Duc Huy of the Ha Tinh City Communist Party, chairwoman Dau Thi Thuy from the Ha Tinh City People's Council, Le Quang Duc, director of the Ha Tinh City Urban Environment Management Company, and translator Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao from the Association of Cities of Vietnam, embarked on a study tour of the Township to gain first-hand knowledge of what may be achieved if the objectives of the MPED program are reached in their homeland.
The delegation met Langley MP Mark Warawa and Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, as well as members of Township Council and municipal staff. The delegation spent a day with Tourism Langley, enjoyed the Canada Day celebrations, did some shopping, and toured Langley Regional Airport.
As well, the Ha Tinh guests toured Langley Township facilities and visited local farms, businesses, and universities. It is hoped that both Trinity Western University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University will be able to create a co-operative relationship with Ha Tinh University.
"We have seen a lot of new, interesting things," said Huy, through translator Thao. "In Langley Township I see lots of prosperity and opportunities for growth. I have the feeling the living conditions of people here are very excellent."
"We are looking forward to sending further visitors here," he added. "Maybe after the two-year project life, if we find opportunities for further cooperation, why not continue that?"
The Ha Tinh delegation appeared before Township Council before returning home July 10.
"We were pleased to share this unique opportunity with the Ha Tinh delegates, and proud they had the opportunity to learn from our successes," said Township Mayor Jack Froese. "We hope they bring back information and ideas that will help their city prosper, and meet the goals of the MPED program."