Skip to main content

Te Hono i a Tāmaki Makaurau ki te ao

Connecting Auckland to the world

Tripartite Economic Alliance

First trilateral economic agreement between global cities

In 2014, the Tripartite Economic Alliance between Auckland, Guangzhou (China) and the City of Los Angeles (US) was signed for a period of three years.

This alliance was a world first that set a new benchmark for city engagement and collaboration. 

The alliance is based on existing strong sister-city relationships. It focuses on increasing trade and investment between the three cities and their surrounding areas. It also aims to strengthen political and civic engagement.

The alliance has created opportunities for Auckland-based businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Progress since signing the tripartite agreement

The Tripartite Alliance has:

  • strengthened Auckland's connections and visibility with two significant partners
  • gained national and international recognition.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited estimates that opportunities from the Tripartite summits and events have generated many potential deals for local companies.   

It can take time for business deals to conclude. In the meantime, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited will continue to track the commercial results.

Other initiatives created under the alliance include Memoranda of Understanding and strategic alliances between business and research institutions that cover:

  • ports
  • design
  • innovation
  • emergency preparedness.

Key events

November 2017

During the mayoral summit in Guangzhou, the three cities extended the alliance for a further three years.

The cities agreed to align Tripartite-related activities with a trade and innovation event in the host city. This event will focus on sectors of mutual interest.   

May 2018

Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore led an Auckland business delegation to Los Angeles to take part in activities linked to SelectLA.   

May 2019

Auckland hosted the Tripartite with activities linked to NZ Tech Week 2019.


The COVID-19 pandemic meant Guangzhou was unable to host an in-person event. There was some virtual engagement about emergency preparedness cooperation.

In December 2020, the three cities agreed to extend the alliance for a further two years without the need for each city to host tripartite-related activities on a rotational basis.

This move acknowledged the value of international urban partnerships in supporting the COVID-19 recovery and addressing the climate emergency.

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a biennial international award initiated by Singapore.

It honours outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of vibrant, sustainable and livable cities.

Auckland was awarded a Special Mention in the 2016 World City Prize, alongside Vienna, Sydney and Toronto.

Auckland's integrated and innovative governance model was recognised by the awards.

The Special Mention has raised Auckland's global profile and access to global influencers. This led to Auckland's induction into the C40 Cities Climate Leaderships Group  

Trade missions and business delegations

Trade missions and business delegations enhance Auckland's international connectivity. They strengthen business, political and cultural relationships in strategically important markets.

We work with several groups to deliver these international initiatives, including:

Past trade missions

In recent years, Auckland Council business delegations have visited:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Korea
  • the Pacific
  • Taiwan
  • United States (Los Angeles).

These missions have resulted in:

  • city-led initiatives such as Tripartite Economic Alliance
  • Memoranda of  Understanding (MOUs) and joint venture signings
  • new project collaborations
  • investment opportunities
  • valuable business and cultural connections
  • new business development
  • job creation
  • partner cities ongoing collaboration.


 Related topics



Investor Centre CentreKey information for those wanting to invest in Auckland Council.aspx
The Auckland Plan 2050 Auckland Plan 2050The Auckland Plan looks ahead to 2050. It considers how we will address our key challenges of high population growth, shared prosperity, and environmental degradation.aspx
Our international relations strategy international relations strategyWe aim to contribute to Auckland’s transformation by positioning Auckland in the global economy.aspx
Our international partnerships international partnerships Our international partnerships open doors for political leaders, policy-makers and businesses to engage in relationships that benefit our region and communities economically, culturally, environmentally and socially.aspx
Tātaki Auckland Unlimitedātaki Auckland UnlimitedFormed from a merger of Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), new CCO Tātaki Auckland Unlimited enriches life in the city and promotes economic growth.aspxOrganisations and bodies
The Tripartite Economic Alliance Tripartite Economic AllianceAuckland Plan 2050 - Opportunity and Prosperity outcome: Supporting information about The Tripartite Economic Alliance.aspx