Harbin is situated in North-East China, approximately one thousand kilometres from Peking, and is the capital town of the Province of Heilongjiang. The town has a population of 3.2 million inhabitants. The greater urban region is home to 9.4 million inhabitants.
Harbin is a large centre of commerce and traffic, via which the most important rail connections travel. Harbin’s history has been greatly affected by its neighbour Russia, as Harbin was under Russian rule from 1896 to 1924. The town’s architecture shows both Russian and European influence.
Harbin has many universities and research facilities. The most prestigious university is the Harbin Institute of Technology, which specialises in research into high technology.
Harbin is a very large industrial centre, with e.g. production related to power plant construction, pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry, industry related to electrical goods, aeroplane industry and textile industry. Tourism in Harbin is concentrated on events, the largest of which is the Snow and Ice Festival in January. Harbin is surrounded by large expanses of countryside, of which 1.3 million hectares are cultivated areas.
Friendship town activities
Rovaniemi and Harbin signed their friendship town agreement in January 2006 in Harbin. Delegations from Harbin have visited Rovaniemi.
Content for co-operation within the scope of friendship town activities has been sought in the fields of tourism, ICT, industry and culture. Harbin’s other friendship towns are Niigata and Asahikawa in Japan, Aarhus in Denmark, Edmonton in Canada, Sverdlovsk Oblast and Khabarovsk in Russia, Minneapolis in the United States of America, Ekhurunleni in South Africa, Daugavpils in Latvia, Ploiesti in Romania, Bucheon in South Korea, Salvador in Brazil and Givatayim in Israel.