Cape Town Mayor De Lille welcomes delegation from Izmir, Turkey
12 APRIL 2016
Speech by the City of Cape Town's Executive, Mayor Patricia de Lille on welcoming the Turkish delegation. The delegation was led by Deputy Mayor of Izmir, Mr Muzaffer Tunçağ.
We are very excited to welcome your delegation here to Cape Town to further strengthen relations between our two cities by discussing practical projects and activities which can map out the way forward.
As we both know, the cooperation agreement which we signed in December 2014 focuses on trade and investment, environmental planning and protection, health services, organic agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, cultural, artistic, and sports activities, best practice pertaining to municipal services, and institutional capacity enhancements.
I look forward to fleshing out the ways in which we can collaborate in these areas during the next two days.
Since we signed the agreement, we have been able to materialise some of the goals we set out to reach together.
I am aware that communication with our transport authority, Transport for Cape Town, has already begun with discussions on points of interest with regard to the bicycle share programme which is an overwhelming success in Izmir.
Izmir currently has at least 40 km of custom bicycle lanes, and since there is a big demand from the public, they are planning to extend these lanes. Residents must register to use the bicycles, and the lanes are also open for the public to utilise as walkways.
We committed to provide the Aegean Chamber of Industry, Izmir Chamber of Commerce, Aegean Free Zone, and Izmir Ataturk Organised Industrial Zone with proposals on how to increase tourism, trade and investment levels between the two cities.
We are enthusiastic about sharing that knowledge from Wesgro and Cape Town Tourism here today.
We have sent through a proposal from Cape Town Tourism on the viability of an exchange tour between our two cities where business people, travel agents and others from Cape Town and Izmir exchange knowledge and experiences.
In October 2015, Turkish Airlines started direct flights between Cape Town and Istanbul. We appreciate this as a good foundation to build increased tourism between our regions.
For your stay, we have arranged a series of presentations so we can strengthen the progress already made thus far.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry will give an overview of the Chamber and its members in order to see how they can be of assistance in terms of increasing trade and ease of business.
Wesgro will highlight the similarities between Izmir and the Cape Town and Western Cape province economies and possible sectors of collaboration. Wesgro will also refer to the Air Access Project, which could start talks on a possible direct flight between Cape Town and Izmir.
Cape Town Tourism will share some insights on the tourism performance in the City of Cape Town for the full year of 2015, and ways in which we can collaborate to improve this performance.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre will discuss possible synergies between Cape Town and Izmir regarding the hosting of big events and commence a conversation on possible collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Accelerate Cape Town will provide a brief overview of their work before exploring economic growth opportunities for the region.
Deputy Mayor and your delegation, once again welcome to Cape Town.
We look forward to the presentations that you will make, and the subsequent growth of our partnership.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town