Lyon has entertained many years ago very strong ties with China, most particularly with Guangzhou, and is willing to reinforce them in the long run.

More than 160 companises from Rhône-Alps are established in China whereas15 Chinese companies are established in Lyon. In 2014 the “OnlyLyon China Business Club” was launched, gathering entrepreneurs and stakeholders from Lyon developing their ties and activities in China and willing to share their experiences and develop collaborative projects towards China. In 2014 a new Centre for the promotion of relations between Lyon and China was also inaugurated, developed by the New French & Chinese Institute. In the period 1921-1946 the French & Chinese Institute was considered the unique Chinese university established out of China. Within this period, 473 Chinese students were trained in Lyon and later became some of the most renowned a Chinese intellectuals and political leaders in China. Today, over 5000 students have enrolled in our universities in the framework of numerous agreements between Lyon and Chinese universities. The close ties between Lyon and China in the field of higher education are drivers of innovation and reinforce the major axis of a research projects between Lyon and China to build the city of the future. The Lyon lab of excellence “Intelligence of Urban Worlds” is one of the best example of the exchange of expertise which can be developed in this field with Chinese counterparts.

Since 1988 the city to city cooperation between Guangzhou and Lyon relies on some important university agreements between Sun Yat Sen University, Lyon Jean Moulin Universitu and the Lyon Business School.
Besides, the organization of study and business trips by Greater Lyon Metropolitan area and the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry are increasing.

In recent years the 2 cities have focused their exchanges on economic and technical exchanges in the field of smart cities and urban innovation. In 2013 the Mayor of Guangzhou and a delegation of experts and directors of the municipality visited the innovative & eco-district of “Lyon Confluence”. The main purpose of this visit was to start a cooperation in the field of urban regeneration of former industrial sites and implementation of smart district. Finally, The lab of excellence “Intelligence of Urban Worlds” of Lyon will be a major and complementary partner and support of our 2 cities in these domains of cooperation.