Jacksonville's Sister Cities Program, working with local city officials, will sign a friendship agreement with Ningbo, China during an official ceremony on December 3 in Jacksonville. Ningbo is the second largest port city in China and the fifth largest in the world. This new international relationship with Ningbo is especially significant to Jacksonville due to the increased interest and business activity with Asian companies and the Port of Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Sister Cities Program is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that encourages partnerships between the United States and international communities. Their goal is to build global cooperation at the municipal level, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development. This program serves to develop municipal partnerships between local governments and similar jurisdictions in other nations and provide opportunities for city officials and citizens to learn and benefit from other international cultures.
Jacksonville currently has six sister cities that include: Bahia Blanca, Argentina; Masan, Korea; Murmansk, Russia; Nantes, France; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and Yingkou, China. In addition to Ningbo, Jacksonville has developed friendship agreements with two other cities in China – Shaoxing and Suzhou. These friendship cities help build economic ties within each community and will generate tourism and trade for economic development to a greater extent.
'This new international partnership with Ningbo signifies another important facet in the city's growing international community and business partners,' said Mayor Peyton. 'As Ningbo is such a vital and important port city, this new agreement will help Jacksonville further grow and develop its port, international trade and business relationships.'
Jacksonville's Sister Cities program is in association with Sister Cities International (SCI), a network that represents more than 2,500 communities in 134 countries around the world. More information about Sister Cities can be found at www.jsca.org or www.sister-cities.org.