March 17, 2010 at 10:40 am
The Kota Kinabalu City Hall (KKCH) reached another milestone on Monday, when it added Vladivostok in the Russian Federation, as it fourth Sister City.
Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim and his Vladivostok counterpart, Igor Pushkaryov, officially established the Sister City relationship during a signing ceremony in the Russian city on Monday.
A statement issued by the KKCH here Tuesday said, witnessing the historical event were, Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Suzannah Liaw and Sabah Tourism Board General Manager, Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks.
Also present were Vladivostok City Vice Mayor, Alexey Litvinov, KKCH Deputy Director-General, Joannes Solidau and other offcials, Shangri-La Tanjung Aru General Manager, Andrew Steele, senior officers from the Sabah Tourism Board and tourism agents from the state.
Following the ceremony, Kota Kinabalu and Vladivostok agreed to promote economical, cultural, scientific and other exchanges.
Both will also provide information to their citizens about the history, culture and life in their respective cities while promoting the exchange of officials, cultural, sport, youth and other delegations.
They will also inform each other about the structure and activities undertaken by their respective local governments, as well as promote various events aimed at strengthening the Sister City ties.
In his address, Iliyas said he was very impressed with the beautiful port city of Vladivostok and thanked Pushkaryov for accepting Kota Kinabalu as a Sister City.
Kota Kinabalu is Vladivostok’s 18th Sister City.
According to Iliyas, Kota Kinabalu achieved city status in 2000 while Vladivostok’s history can be traced to as far back as the 1850s.
This he stated, is an advantage for KKCH to learn from Vladivostok, especially in terms of city management.
Pushkaryov meanwhile said, he was very happy to establish the relationship with Kota Kinabalu.
He also expressed confidence that bilateral ties between both cities would be improved with business and cultural exchanges benefitting Vladivostok.
Masidi, who chaired a press conference, said there was a great tourism and business potential to be tapped between Kota Kinabalu and Vladivostok.
The Minister said his Ministry would be organising a familiarisation trip to Sabah for the media and tourism agents from Russia.
He added that where tourism is concerned, it is not only about Russians coming to Sabah but also Sabahans visiting Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is Russia’s largest port city on the Pacific Ocean.
It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia’s border with China and North Korea. It is also the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
It has a population of about 600,000 with ethnic Russians and Ukrainians making up the majority.
The city’s main industries are shipping and commercial fishing. Its main exports are fish, timber products, metal and ships, while its main imports are food products, medicine, clothing, footwear, automobiles and household items.
The Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect European Russia with Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is also home to numerous educational institutions, with six universities and the Vladivostok State Medical University, being one of the ten popular medical universities in Russia.
Apart from the Sister City signing ceremony, the delegation from Sabah who are on a seven-day working visit to Vladivostok and South Korea, also visited places of interests in the city and the internationally known Vladivostok Ocean Youth Camp.
A discussion on tourism exchanges was also held with the Sabah Tourism Board presenting a tourism documentary to tourism agents in Vladivostok, and vice-versa by the Vladivostok City Tourism Department.