Mayors of 22 cities in China's Yangtze River Delta are scheduled to gather in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, this weekend to discuss cooperation in protecting the environment and stimulating innovation, local authorities said.
The municipal government announced that the city, joining the Yangtze River Delta Economic Coordination Association in 2010, will host the 13th Conference of Mayors from April 13 to 14.
At the meeting, the leaders will sign three documents after deliberation: an agreement on cooperation among cities and two manifestos: one focusing on environmental protection and the other pledging to make innovation a driving force and calling for better coordination among enterprises, universities and research institutes.
As a major theme of the conference, "innovation includes not only scientific, technological, cultural and ecological innovation, but also that occurring in cities, systems along with that as a result of regional cooperation," an official with the municipal development and reform commission said.
Also, the mayors will talk about environmental protection at the meeting for the first time, seeking "green" ways of developing the Yangtze-River Delta region, according to the source.
On top of government officials, representatives of the world's and the country's top 500 enterprises together with professors and experts from prestigious universities and research institutes are set to be present at the event.
"Eight cities are launching their bid for the Yangtze River Delta membership, including the province's Wuhu, Chuzhou and Huainan," said a source, who wouldn't give his name. The entry will be put to the vote by the 22 mayors in a couple of days.
The association was founded in 1996 for enhancing cooperation among cities in the Yangtze River Delta Region, one of the major engines behind China's economy.
(By Zheng Weiling)