Port of Bremerton adopts a Chinese sister

The Port of Bremerton will sign a sister port agreement on Monday with the Chinese port city of Yantai, cementing a relationship that began with a visit of Kitsap County officials to China in October 2002.

“This is a cultural relationship,” said Port of Bremerton CEO Ken Attebery. “There are no deals yet. It is more about laying the groundwork for things that will happen in the coming decades.”

Monday’s signing represents the ratification of a document similar to one signed during the 2002 visit. South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel and Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, both who participated in that trip, will be on hand to sign what Attebery said is an English version of the same document.

With a population of 6.5 million, Yantai is considerably larger than Bremerton — or Washington state itself.

The city is located on a peninsula south of Beijing at the meeting point of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea.

Size, according to Attebery, doesn’t matter.

“The world has gotten a lot smaller,” he said. “We want to educate the public and interested businesses about what opportunities are available.”

The agreement states an intention to “have extensive exchanges and cooperation on port business, construction, management, science, technology, personnel and training. Leaders of the two ports will keep frequent contact and meet on appropriate occasions to discuss common interests.”

Bremerton has no other sister port agreements, although it does have a transportation agreement with the Port of Grays Harbor.

Yantai has two other sister port arrangements with U.S. cities. The same delegation will visit these locales, San Diego and Olympia, during this trip.

“This helps to supply a piece in the economic development puzzle,” Attebery said.

The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on April 24 in the council chambers of the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton.

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