Swedish island Gotland, situated 90 kilometers from the coast of Sweden is working on an unusual relationship. The perhaps future partner is Chinese Island, Hainan. The two islands are worlds away from each other and those differences are the cause of the mutual interest.
Hainan is ten times bigger than Gotland and almost 9 million people reside in the southern island. That produces opportunities for Gotland. Tourists, exchange in workforce and import is a few of the things Gotland hopes to get from Hainan.
“They really want to have a partnership with us. But it takes a bit time and it is a very different culture than here,” says Sven Sandström from Product Gotland.
Product Gotland has several things in mind that the two could cooperate on. Hainan wants more western tourists, western personnel and more companies and visitors at the annual agricultural fair.
It all started when a delegation from Gotland of 40 people visited the Chinese island in March. The visits have been repeated since then and a “treaty of friendship” was signed.