Gifts will help Sheffield companies forge better foreign links

Council Leader Julie Dore presents Mayor Ge, the Mayor of Chengdu  with a knife at the Town Hall
Council Leader Julie Dore presents Mayor Ge, the Mayor of Chengdu with a knife at the Town Hall
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SHEFFIELD’ Council leader is granting gifts as the city seeks to forge international relationships with the US and China to help businesses grow.

Coun Julie Dore handed Mayor of Chengdu, Ge Honglin a dagger as a present when a delegation from the Chinese city came to Sheffield to meet council and business leaders.

Next week she will send a handmade pewter rose bowl to Mayor of Houston Annise Parker.

The Chengdu visitors took in some of Sheffield’s attractions, including The Crucible theatre where the World Snooker Championships are being held, the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe, and Sheffield Forgemasters.

Mayor Ge and his party met city businesses and visited Sheffield United, which is linked to Chengdu through the Chengdu Blades.

Edward Highfield, director of Creative Sheffield development agency, which aims to attract new business to the city, said: “China places real importance on the role of local government and, with the relationship formed by the two authorities, Sheffield companies will find it easier to trade with Chinese companies, using Chengdu as an entry point into the massive domestic Chinese market.”

The gift to the Mayor of Houston is a Wentworth’s handmade pewter rose bowl made in Sheffield, and will feature engravings of intertwining roses representing the floral signatures of both Yorkshire and Texas.

It is being taken to the US city on Coun Dore’s behalf by envoy Matthew Dronfield, of Ekspan Engineering.

Coun Dore said: “We are sending this gift to illustrate our support and admiration for Annise Parker. She is one of only two women ever to hold Houston’s highest elected office.”

Matthew Dronfield, chief executive of Ekspan and member of Sheffield Council’s independent Business Advisory Panel, said: “I’m delighted to be able to deliver and support this gift.”

n The Star Business: P28