SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 22, 2014)—On Aug. 2, Sister Cities International awarded the City of San Antonio with the 2014 Innovation Award in Economic Development for a city with a population greater than 500,001. This award recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.
San Antonio currently has nine sister cities and two friendship cities around the world in China, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Spain and Taiwan that are managed by the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office. In October 2012, the City of San Antonio devised a new City Council-led advisory group on international economic development initiatives comprised of public and private members called the Global Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC evolved from a similar subcommittee, known as the China Advisory Committee, as the City endeavored to restructure its international economic development initiatives. This public/private stakeholder group gathered every two months to provide a conduit for “community steering” of these efforts.
“San Antonio is a city that has continued to promote its global outreach through coordinated and integrated efforts with the community,” said Shahrzad Dowlatshahi, Chief of Protocol for the City’s International Relations Office. “This award for Innovation in Economic Development is reflective of the awareness we continue to build collaboratively for our City in order to raise its global profile.”
As part of GAC, the City’s projects in 2013 included the Brookings Export Initiative, the identification of target countries for San Antonio based on a balance of trade flow, Foreign Direct Investment, strengthening existing relationships and an alignment of diverse organizations in the community involved with promoting international economic development initiatives. To successfully implement these projects, the City of San Antonio’s Economic Development Department and International Relations Office collaborated with City Council, county government officials, members of the private sector, non-profit organizations and higher education institutions.
The 2014 Innovation Award in Economic Development is one of many awards the City of San Antonio has received from Sister Cities International for municipal cooperation, educational achievement, innovation in arts related to the targeted activities between San Antonio and its sister cities in Kumamoto, Japan; Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico; Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Spain; Chennai, India; and Wuxi, China. This is the first time an award was granted for San Antonio’s overall economic development outreach by the community.
Sister Cities International’s award winners were honored at a special ceremony during the organization’s 58th Annual Conference in San Jose, Calif. For more information on the 2014 Sister Cities International Annual Conference, please visit SisterCitiesConference.org
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