A successful team

Basel and Shanghai are two highly successful cities that have discovered their common interests and have united their strengths in a city partnership.

Although there is a striking difference between the size of the two cities of Basel and Shanghai, there are noticeable similarities in their economic interests: Shanghai and Basel are two of the world’s most important centres for life sciences, have tremendous economic power, are regarded within their respective country as cultural metropolises, and are established centres of science and academic learning. These areas will also be the focus of the partnership. In addition, sustainable development will be at the core of every project. Because of the Corona pandemic, the validity of this document was extended by one year until the entry into force of the fifth consecutive MoU. This was signed on 15 April 2021 during a video conference between the President of the Government Beat Jans and the Mayor of Shanghai Gong Zheng and defines the thematic focal points for the years 2021 to 2023.

City partnership agreement

After almost two years of preparation, Basel’s State Councillor Dr. Carlo Conti and deputy mayor Tang Dengjie signed a twinning agreement in Shanghai on November 19, 2007. The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to cooperation between the two cities in the years 2008 to 2010 was drawn up and signed in Basel on April 4, 2008. On August 11, 2010, the second MoU was signed in Shanghai, recording further cooperation for the years 2011 to 2013. This document must be reviewed and signed again every three years. On March 21, 2014, the third consecutive MoU was signed for the period 2014-2016. On September 2, 2016, former President of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Guy Morin, and Deputy Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Committee, Ying Yong, signed the fourth consecutive MoU for 2017 to 2019.

Following the successful implementation of two Memorandums of Understanding, the Centre of Business and Economics (CBE) at the University of Basel carried out a study involving a cost-benefit analysis of the city partnership. The result was that more than two third of those interviewed considered the benefits to outweigh the costs. This shows that the city partnership is not an end in itself, but rather brings sustained added value to individual actors. In particular in the area of research and medicine, individual cooperation projects are considered to bring major benefits. According to the study, there is a major potential in the area of economics, which should be exploited with the newly founded BaselArea.Swiss.