Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, along with area state, local and university officials, spent last week in Rugao, China signing a Sister City agreement with Secretary Huijuan Chen, the highest-ranking official in the city.
Last Wednesday, Marks joined Chen as well as Daojian Wu, the vice mayor of Rugao, to sign a proclamation making the Sister City status official between Rugao and Tallahassee.
The goal of the Sister Cities Program is to “promote world peace in an individual level and encourages citizens to better understand community by contrasting their way of life with another culture.”
The city’s connection to Rugao emerged as Bing Energy International’s decision to relocate its headquarters to the area. The company also has a facility in Rugao.
A total of eight delegates took part on the trade mission to Rugao alongside Marks to promote the city’s economic, academic and research development.
During the visit, the trade mission found significant opportunities for increased commerce between Rugao and Tallahassee businesses.
“The Tallahassee Trade Mission to Rugao, China Accomplishments and Ongoing Initiatives Report,” outlined how Rugao and the Yangtze River Delta region are particularly interested in green technology and sustainable business practices.
There are newly emerging and continuing opportunities for research and academic alliances between Florida State, Florida A&M, Tallahassee Community College and Chinese universities.
“The trade mission to Rugao laid the groundwork for increased economic development and academic partnerships between Tallahassee and Rugao,” Marks said in a press release.
We’ve identified exciting new opportunities for Tallahassee’s businesses and higher education institutions, which will lead to benefits for the entire communit.”
On Nov. 11, the delegates and Marks met with the Tallahassee City Commission to outline the progress and accomplishments of the Sister City Partnership.
The Tallahassee and Rugao, as reported in the press release, have partnered with the Rugao Economic Development Zone Management Committee on renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, research, engineering and information technology.
This will also encompass opportunities in workforce development, commercialization of research and new business formation.
A Sister City agreement is formalized when two communities from different nations join together to develop a friendly and meaningful relationship.