Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, two councillors and 14 council staff are attending an economic summit in China this month at a cost of about $100,000.

Goff is leading a group of 97 delegates representing 70 Auckland businesses to take part in the third Tripartite Economic Alliance Summit in Guangzhou, China, from today until Friday.

The summit is the third between the cities of Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles.

Goff said it is Auckland's largest-ever trade delegation, saying businesses clearly see the advantage of interacting with our two sister cities at the summit.

"Each are gateway cities to two of the most important and powerful economies in the world," he said.

Goff is being accompanied by councillors Ross Clow and Chris Darby. Council chief of strategy Jim Quinn, Auckland design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid, Maori Statutory Board chairman David Taipari and staff from Panuku Development Auckland and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development(Ateed) are at the summit.

Three Ateed staff from the tourism, trade and partnerships team and two screen attraction specialists are linking up with the summit.

Goff and Taipari are flying business class, Clow is flying premium economy and departing one day earlier, while Darby will be flying to Guangzhou in business class and returning one day later on premium economy. All other staff are flying premium economy/economy. All flights are in line with council policy.


Senior political representatives from all three countries - including Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell and Guangzhou Mayor WEN Guohui - will attend the summit with over 830 representatives from the three cities and countries.

Said Goff: "Guangzhou and Los Angeles are global economic powerhouses, as well as a major source of migrants, students and tourists. The formal partnership between our cities creates opportunities for us to facilitate the continued growth of local businesses and our economy."

Last month Goff was away for 16 days on a working visit to Belgium, the United Kingdom and France.