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Rouen of France
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The city of Rouen is located at the lower reaches of River Seine in the northwest of France. 110 km to the sea and 140 km to Paris, Rouen is a large port city that comes after Paris, Marseilles. As the provincial capital city of Upper Normandy Province (which became a sister province of Zhejiang in March 1990), Rouen covers an urban area of 2,000 square km with a population of 500,000 including 380,000 in urban area. A long history of thousands of years has endowed Rouen with such abundant culture relics as the famous Rouen Cathedral dating back to the end of the 4th century, and noted figures as the great writer Flaubert.

On the right bank of River Seine sits the Old City. Known as the City of Museum with a lot of world famous collections of fine arts, it is surrounded by lower mountains and dotted with ancient architectural complexes. While on the left bank is the new part of the city, which was ruined in World War Two and later re-built to

stretch northward. Most buildings in this part of the city inherited the French architectural style characterized by primitive simplicity and elegance. A railway and highway bridge connects the two parts of the city.  
Rouen Port is a river port composed of four harbor districts. With a coastline of 20 km, the port allows laden cargo vessels of 40,000 tonnages or half-laden vessels of 140,000 tonnages to enter and leave freely. In 1998, the Port handled outbound cereals of over 8 million tons and its total throughput reached 24 million tons, with outbound cargos accounting for 60%. Main outbound cargos include cereals, petrochemicals and containerized goods, while inbound are refined products, phosphate fertilizer, timber and crude oil. There are regular lines from Rouen to Africa and the Indian Ocean. Very often, the port accommodates vessels from China. The annual trade volume between China and France through Rouen port reaches as much as 300,000 to 1,000,000 tons. Rouen port ranks as the third largest river port after Paris and Strasbourg, mainly handling agricultural and sideline products, building materials and coal.

Rouen has the convenient maritime, land and air traffic networks. Railway trunk lines are Paris-Rouen-Le Havre. Every day there are 10 regular runs of train from Rouen to Le Havre, taking an hour and 45 minutes on the way. Expressways from Rouen are extending in all directions. Trunk line A13 is Caen-Rouen-Paris, an hour's ride from Rouen to Paris. Now Rouen Airport is operating 5 regular lines and 2 seasonal lines.

 Well-developed agriculture and industry have enabled GNP per capita of Rouen to be the second place in France. Service industry and economic trade, accounting for 48.1% and 22.80% respectively, are playing an important role in its economy. Totaling over 6000 enterprises, the city's industrial sector comes with a fairly complete array of petrochemicals, refined chemicals, natural gas, pharmaceuticals, food processing, electrical equipment & machinery, aviation, automobile manufacturing, paper-making, construction and transportation, etc. Paluel is one of the largest nuclear power stations in the world. Penly, another big one, has an annual power generation of 16.4 billion KW/h. Besides, an oil refinery with annual processing capacity of 7 million tons is also the pride of the city.

Thanks to its prosperous agriculture and husbandry, western part of Rouen has become one of the major distributing centers for agricultural and sideline products in the northwest of France.

Having been actively absorbing foreign capital, Rouen is ranked as the largest foreign investment zone within France. Reputed multinationals such as Renault, Shell, Mobil and Esso have set up their own production bases in Rouen. Moreover, commercial activities, such as yearly Rouen International Expo and other influential trade fairs, are always frequenting this city.

Rouen has made great achievements in fields of health, scientific research, culture and education. Now there are 5 universities and colleges, among which is Rouen University which occupies an area of 100,000 square meters and has over 10,000 students. Other schools include institute of commerce, polytechnic school, engineering school and business administration school. Rouen has 70 scientific research institutions and 11 hospitals and 14 clinics that are provided with 6,000 hospital beds and 15,000 medical personnel. Complete facilities for sports in Rouen are composed of 218 soccer grounds, 217 tennis courts, 21 entertainment centers and 153 sports clubs. Capable of accommodating an audience of 1,250 people, Rouen Art Theater is the place where world famous singers often put on sensational performances.

As one of leading cities in opera performance in France, Rouen has 9 theaters and 40 cinemas. In March 1990, Rouen signed an agreement with Ningbo to become sister cities. During the past decade, the two cities have achieved a lot in friendly exchanges and cooperation.

Exchanges between Ningbo and Rouen

Since 1989, Ningbo exhibition and trade delegation made up of personnel from import & export companies, Ningbo Brach of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Ningbo Port Authority has been participating in Rouen International Expo for 9 consecutive years. As a result, a seminar "Development of Container Terminals in Ningbo", jointly sponsored by Ningbo Port Authority, Upper Normandy Province, Rouen Port and Le Havre Port, was successfully held in Ningbo. 

Since the signing of friendship agreement, delegations organized by the Government of Rouen, Parliament of Upper Normandy and Rouen Chamber of Commerce have paid several visits to Ningbo. In return, Ningbo have sent numerous governmental or friendship delegations to Rouen, seeking opportunities for further cooperation and exchanges.

In recent years, Pie Corporation and Coupatan Corporation of Rouen have started negotiating with Ninghai Seals Factory and Ningbo Timers Factory for joint venture projects. The projects are now still under negotiation.

In June 1998, headed by Mayor Zhang Weiwen, Ningbo governmental delegation paid a visit to Rouen. After shown around the Port and enterprises, they met with the Governor of Upper Normandy, Mayor of Rouen, Chairman of Rouen Chamber of Commerce and personnel from other communities. Both sides discussed cooperation in fields of economy, education and personnel training.

In November 1999, a delegation of 12 people, headed by Christian Herail (Chairman of Rouen Chamber of Commerce), Evon Robert (Mayor of Rouen), and Deputy Governor of Upper Normandy visited Ningbo. Mayor Zhang Weiwen met them and held talks with his counterpart on exchanges and cooperation between Ningbo and Rouen. After that, the delegation visited Beilun Port, Tianyi Pavilion and downtown Ningbo.

In December 1999, 15 entrepreneurs, organized by Ningbo Municipal Economic Commission, went to Rouen Institute of Commerce for a half-month training.

In May 2000, Ningbo governmental delegation, headed by Executive Deputy Mayor Shao Zhanwei, visited Rouen to attend the 10th anniversary celebration for establishment of sister-city relationship between Ningbo and Rouen. To mark the occasion, Ningbo Government sent a pair of stone lions as gift, The delegation attended the unveiling ceremony and celebrations held in the City Hall, where Chinese Ambassador to France Mr. and Mrs. Wu Jianmin were present upon invitation. During the following days, the delegation members visited Rouen Chamber of Commerce, Rouen Institute of Commerce, Rouen Museum, Rouen Port and Westland Corporation.

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