Sister Cities Association of Sarasota

Citizen Diplomats—Carving a Path toward Peace since 1963

Business Opportunities through Sister Cities Relationships

Companies and businesses interested in pursuing economic and business opportunities overseas might want to consider capitalizing on existing relationships with locations that have established connections close to home. One such relationship is that of a Sister City, which is a broad-based, officially approved, long-term partnership between two communities or regions in two countries, for example, Sarasota has long term relationships with Hamilton, Province of Ontario, Canada; Dunfermline, Scotland; Perpignan, France; Tel Mond, Israel; Treviso Province, Italy, Vladimir, Russia, Xiamen (Siming District) China and Merida, Mexico.

Sister Cities Association of Sarasota is part of a powerful global economic engine anchored in formal city-to-city agreements. Eight sister cities, strategically positioned throughout the world, translate into long-term relationships that give you international access, opportunities and resources. Affiliation with Sister Cities International provides access to more than 2,500 such relationships in 126 nations across the globe. These relationships have created numerous contacts, cross-cultural experience, and abundant goodwill between communities in the United States and other nations.

Sarasota’s twinned cities offer largely untapped business connections to markets in Canada, China, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Scotland. And the family tree of our Sister Cities provides potential connections with “cousins” in 74 cities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Venezuela plus 15 additional US city markets. (See Sarasota Family Tree & Cousins for listing of each city and their twinned cities)

Here in the West Coast of Florida counterpart Sister Cities in Lakeland, Tampa, St Petersburg, have broad relationships with 18 cities in Argentina, Columbia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, The Bahamas, and Turkey.

In general, sister city partnerships strive to increase global cooperation, promote cultural understanding and trust, and stimulate economic development by involVing local governments, businesses, and a wide variety of citizen volunteers including civil society and nonprofit organizations. They are recognized, registered, and coordinated by Sister Cities International (SCI), which is a national membership association for sister city, county, and state programs in the United States.

Primary contact is Dr. Charles Steilen, VP Business & Economic Development at Sister Cities Association of Sarasota for help in identify existing relationships and establishing contacts for identifying local business opportunities that could be developed through a sister city program. Contact: cfsteilen@gmail.com.

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