The mayor of the French city of Nantes said on Wednesday that cooperation on gardening and urban sustainable development with sister city Suncheon in South Jeolla Province marks the start of even closer links in the future.
“We must to build closer links, and naturally this is an area around which our two cities can cooperate,” said Mayor Patrick Rimbert during a reception at the French Embassy in Korea on Wednesday.
Rimbert arrived in Seoul on April 14 to take part in the opening ceremony of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo on Thursday. He returned to France on Monday.
|French Ambassador to Korea Jerome Pasquier (left) and Nantes Mayor Patrick Rimbert pose for a photo during a reception at the French Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday. (Philip Iglauer/The Korea Herald)|
He was invited to take part in the ceremony when Suncheon Mayor Cho Choog-hoon visited France in October last year.
Rimbert was elected as mayor in June 29, 2012, following Jean-Marc Ayrault’s appointment as Prime Minister by French President Francois Hollande.
Nantes and Suncheon began exchanges in 2002 when Korea hosted the World Cup, and the cities established a formal partnership in 2007. Suncheon built a Korean garden in Nantes in 2009 and Nantes unveiled a French garden at the opening ceremony of the international gardening confab.
Nantes has a large number of open and green urban spaces and received the 2013 European Green Capital Award.
Some 23 nations are participating in the international exposition on gardening through Oct. 20 in Suncheon, a city of about 200,000 located near Gwangyang and Yeosu, which received international attention last year by hosting the 2012 World Expo.
By Philip Iglauer (firstname.lastname@example.org