Ambitious Auckland high-tech companies have leapt at the opportunity to take part in "business match-making sessions" with visiting Chinese and US companies at the two-day Tripartite Economic Summit.
More than 200 business-matching dates have already been pre-arranged according to summit organiser Auckland Tourism, Events and Development (Ateed).
Ateed has set aside the Bank of New Zealand Business Activation Lounge at the Viaduct Events Centre for meetings throughout the two days.
Ateed chief executive Brett O'Riley said: "We wanted to use the business matching to start discussions on potential collaboration projects."
Speakers include business performance and new media entrepreneurs: Erez Morag (founder of Acceler8 Performance); Jonas Hudson who co-founded mobile content publishing platform CausePlay; Field Garthwaite who chairs Iris.TV, Tom Cassell from TheSyndicateProject and Angelo Pullen who is CEO of 3Backdot.
There are experts in mobilising capital for investments as well as scientific leaders and innovators of new technology like smart drones.
The summit will also focus on the development of the three cities, Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles, which are linked by a formal sister cities alliance and share common problems when it comes to transport and affordable housing.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti - who leads the 60-strong LA delegation - is also taking the opportunity to build support for his city's bid to host the 2024 Olympics.
Madame Li Xiaolin heads an 80-strong Chinese delegation and is the highest-ranked diplomatic representative from China at the summit.
She is the president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and is joined by Vice-Mayor of Guangzhou Municipal Government, Wang Dong.
The summit will feature keynote addresses, workshops and site visits associated with the latest global trends in sectors such as health and nutrition, entertainment and digital media, advanced manufacturing, and urban design where Auckland has strong capability.
The summit has attracted about 75 speakers and panellists, and more than 700 delegates - nearly two-thirds of them businesspeople, investors, industry representatives and academics.
"The city is going through a transformation and we are selling [development] opportunities in Auckland to investors who can be part of the transition over the 10 to 15 years," O'Riley said.
He sees the Tripartite Economic Alliance as a long-term programme of work designed to grow the Auckland economy and increase the number of companies exporting, as well as attract talent and investment to the city.
"We want this summit to be an active meeting where genuine connections are made and result in enhanced business between the three cities," O'Riley said.
For its panel sessions Ateed has selected five specialist sectors where the city has world-class expertise and ground-breaking research and development: High-value food, entertainment and digital, advanced materials, smart data and urban design.
The keynote speech at the summit will be given by Erez Morag, former Nike innovation expert and founder of Acceler8 Performance.
A panel of media entrepreneurs, 3Blackdot co-founder Angelo Pullen, Totem and YouTube expert Steve Crombie and Tom Cassell, who operates YouTube channel, TheSyndicateProject, will discuss "The Power of the Influencer Economy" and how social media channels are changing the way global brands market their products to consumers.
Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles signed a world-first Tripartite Economic Alliance agreement in 2014.
They aim to set a new standard for how modern cities can engage and collaborate in the 21st Century.
Summit programme includes: Presentations by global business leaders; panels on key industry sectors; sector-focused site visits.