Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday to formalize a tripartite economic alliance built upon Auckland's and Los Angeles' long-established sister city relations with the South China metropolis.
It is the world's first tri-city engagement that "sets a great example for how cities should cooperate and engage in the 21st century", according to Koro Dickinson, adviser for global partnerships and strategy at the Auckland Council.
The alliance will play to the synergy among the manufacturing and foreign trade centre in South China, the largest city of New Zealand and the largest city on the US west coast, all of which are major gateways to their own countries, he added.
Auckland, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Guangzhou this year, proposed the idea of building the tripartite economic alliance.
It is also the 33rd anniversary of the sister city relationship between Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
Guangzhou Mayor Chen Jianhua said that Guangzhou benefits most from the tripartite relationship because the city can learn a lot from the other two about innovation, talent training and environmental protection.
The three cities have identified four sectors where they will focus their energy on substantive cooperation: innovation, the film and TV industry, trade and tourism, and education.
By introducing Los Angeles-based enterprises in environmental protection and healthcare sectors to Chen, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garceti has shown his city's willingness to share with Guangzhou its experience in improving the environment and the city's desire to explore the market in Guangzhou for medical tours to Los Angeles.
"I strongly propose that we bring our sister cities together to lead the way to improve the quality of life with technology. We want to set up the innovation with you" in Guangzhou, Garceti said.
"Partnerships between big Chinese investments and new technologies of New Zealand are how we see our future relationship going forward," Auckland Mayor Len Brown said, adding that he wants to show the Chinese that New Zealand has more than dairy products and milk powder.