Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav will offer his expertise as a senior advisor to the Chinese coastal city of Shenzhen, at the invitation of his counterpart, Mayor Xu Qin, who received special permission for the appointment by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Shenzhen, a coast city located in the south of China, transformed from a small fishing village to a booming metropolis in a little over 30 years and in 2012 became a sister city to Haifa.

"The ‘Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen’ accomplished tremendous achievements and created miracles in industrialization, modernization and urbanization. Today, as we continue to lead with further reforms and openness efforts, Shenzhen embarks on a journey on its way to becoming a global city,” read the written invitation from the Municipal People’s Government of Shenzhen.

Shenzhen officials hope to mimic Haifa’s higher education and scientific achievements and have asked the mayor to provide his expertise towards further developing the city.

“From admiration of your accomplishments and your noble position in your field of expertise, we turn to you and invite you to be nominated to the Advisory Committee for the internationalization of Shenzhen,” the Chinese invitation read.

A statement released by the Haifa municipality said the appointment was “a great honor,” since the mayor of a city with just 300,000 residents was asked to serve as a consultant to 17 million inhabitants.

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