York business delegation visit Dijon
Published: 26 September 2012
A delegation of business, university and council representatives visited Dijon to build on the relationship between the twinned cities.
The delegation was invited to Dijon by Michel Julien, the vice-President of the Grand Dijon, following a visit to York as part of the year long celebrations of York 800. The purpose of the visit was to explore economic links and the potential for joint working with Dijon with regard to business and international trade. As such, the trip included meetings with Dijon Développement, the economic development agency for Dijon, and the Burgundy International Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The trip was also used to explore the potential for formal connectivity between the universities in York and Dijon.
York also used the opportunity to secure French support for Yorkshire's bid to host the Tour de France in 2014. Councillor James Alexander hand-delivered a letter requesting support to Fracois Rebsamen, Mayor of Dijon, Leader of the Socialists in the national Senate and Sénateur de la Côte-d'Or.
The delegation included Councillor James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council and The Right Hon The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Keith Hyman, Rachel Goddard, Chair of York Professionals, Mairead Kelly, Head of International Operations, York St John University, and Jenny Oxley, International Relations Officer for University of York.
The delegation met with Elizabeth Biot, Deputy Mayor of Dijon for International Relations, Philippe Sartori, the Dijon Town Hall Director of International Relations and Daniele Enselme, Chair of the Dijon-York society.
Councillor Keith Hyman, The Lord Mayor of York said: "This was a great opportunity to revive the historic twining and utilise the role of the civic head to promote York and facilitate our ambitions to develop our economy on an international scale. Using the role of Lord Mayor to facilitate economic growth brings the role into the 21st century."
Councillor James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council said: “York is an international city and as such needs international links. York needs this to secure jobs and facilitate economic growth. This has been a great opportunity for the council to promote York as a destination for business and to build meaningful connections to an international market. It has been interesting to explore economic opportunities and learn how Dijon has facilitated economic growth whilst maintaining its heritage."
Mairead Kelly, Head of International Operations at York St John University said: "This is a great opportunity for the city of York and both of our universities to develop our relationships with colleagues in Dijon. Visiting the University of Burgundy, gave us the chance to explore opportunities for staff and students from both institutions to cooperate on a range of activities, including exchanges and collaborative research."
Rachel Goddard, Chair of York Professionals said: "It is important that we look outside the city to strengthen our international links and develop new opportunities for business. This is exactly the kind of thing York should be doing to help strengthen our economy longer term. I look forward to sharing new ideas and contacts that York's professional and business community can benefit from."