Business and Professional Programs
In an ever-expanding global marketplace, cultural enlightenment and exposure is crucial for any business. Fort Worth Sister Cities provides businesses unique, international opportunities that no other local organization can.
“Sister city programs increase tourism, encouraging cities to send delegations and private citizens to visit, and provide participants with reliable business contacts. It’s also a way to better understand the cultural differences among different countries — and an opportunity for Texas businesses to show that they want to understand the international markets in which they hope to compete.” ~Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Sister Cities’ programs provide significant economic benefits to the City of Fort Worth including:
- Annual economic impact of nearly $2.6 million
- 500 visitors annually for cultural and educational exchanges
- 15,000 days spent in Fort Worth by visitors each year due to exchanges
- Over $80,000 awarded in educational scholarships annually
The activities of Sister Cities create significant and far reaching impacts in Fort Worth and throughout the world as corporate leaders are introduced to economic opportunities in this globalized market. Volunteers, city officials and staff work countless hours building relationships with our sister cities and plans are underway to secure new relationships in Canada and Latin America. Professional exchanges provide opportunities for trading “best practices” with our sister cities in fields of medicine, engineering, city management, education and more.
Our global economic development initiatives are all-inclusive. Our partners include The City of Fort Worth Economic Development Dept., the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Black Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, as well as prominent international businesses such as DFW International Airport, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Alcon Laboratories, Bell Helicopter, Hillwood, BNSF Railway, American Airlines, and many others. Our partners in higher learning such as Texas Christian University, UNT Health Science Center, University of North Texas, Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College exemplify our commitment to developing international business knowledge and expertise. We create lasting relationships throughout the world to connect area business leaders with our global partners.
As part of our economic relations initiative, the selection of future sister cities include an economic development criteria. The selection of our newest sister city in China was made with this in mind. After a three-year process, the City Council unanimously approved the selection of Guiyang, China as Fort Worth’s eighth sister city. That official agreement was signed in Fort Worth in 2011 and in Guiyang in 2012.
Due to the signing with Guiyang, several representatives from Fort Worth were invited to participate in an economic forum in Nanjing, China. Networking and personal meetings took place with opportunities for business links to develop in the future.
In 2007, Sister Cities worked with the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to carry out a successful trade mission to Toluca, Mexico. In addition, the Toluca Trade Office in Fort Worth was opened charged with further developing economic relations between the two cities. Similar efforts are being investigated with other sister cities and Guiyang, China has already proposed a trade mission to Fort Worth.
The Young Professionals Business Mentorship program started in 2012 between Fort Worth and Nagaoka, Japan and was funded by Sister Cities International. This program was created as a sustainable business model to provide participants an opportunity to learn how to work in an international environment. For ten days eight young professionals were home hosted and worked alongside their counterparts in Japanese companies while gaining:
- International work experience
- Expanded business networks
- Japanese protocol training
- Perspective on global marketplaces
These Fort Worth young professionals, along with their Japanese counterparts, will present their findings at a Pan-Asian Summit at the Sister Cities International annual conference in San Antonio, Texas July 14, 2013.
Corporate Membership Benefits
Membership in Fort Worth Sister Cities is an exciting way for local businesses to expand their cultural and civic horizons. At various levels of corporate membership, businesses receive recognition in publications throughout the year, invitations to VIP dinners and events, recognition at special events including the Mayor’s International Dinner, individual membership in Sister Cities, and youth memberships in our youth group. Sign up today or contact Mae Ferguson for more information. (817) 632-7104.