HONOLULU, HAWAII – Hawaii’s four counties will host a sister-cities summit next week to bring together Hawaii’s sister-city partners from around the world to discuss collaborative opportunities in economic development, clean energy, international trade, business, educational exchange and cross-cultural understanding. The inaugural Counties of Hawaii: Sister-Cities Summit will take place September 13-15 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The event is expected to bring over 150 delegates from 14 international cities to the Islands. Hawaii businesses and residents are invited to attend.
The Sister-Cities Summit is being held in conjunction with the 2011 Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo (APCESE). Like Hawaii’s four counties, many of the visiting sister-cities are focused on reducing their dependence on oil and creating clean-energy economies. APCESE will provide visiting sister-cities delegates with opportunities to learn about the ambitious and innovative clean-energy initiatives underway in Hawaii as well as to establish partnerships with Hawaii businesses and government agencies to collaborate on clean-energy generation and smart-grid infrastructure development.
The Summit kicks off with a welcome reception on Sept. 13 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The event will feature the four county mayors, 14 sister-city delegations and a special local business reception. This event offers an opportunity to network with local businesses, international delegations from the Asia Pacific, while enjoying food prepared by local chefs. In addition, the welcome reception will include the awards presentation ceremony for all winners and finalists in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Hawaii Host Committee’s Hawaii Business Innovation Showcase. To purchase tickets, please visit www.hawaiisistercitiessummit.com.
On Sept. 14 at the Hawaii Convention Center, representatives from each of the 14 sister-city delegations will present information about their city during a morning session. In addition, each of Hawaii’s four counties is scheduled to sign an agreement with a new sister-city at a formal signing ceremony luncheon. The City and County of Honolulu will formalize a new sister-city relationship with Chengdu, China; Maui County will sign an agreement with Goyang, South Korea; Hawaii County and Ormoc City, Philippines will enter a new relationship; and Kauai County will establish a relationship with Iwaki City, Japan. Delegates to the Sister-Cities Summit will also hear from Reta Jo Lewis of the U.S. State Department and Dale Wright from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
“Sister-cities provide a tremendous opportunity to engage and build relationships on a meaningful level and deliver mutually beneficial economic and cultural exchanges to both cities,” said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.
The 14 visiting sister-cities are: Baguio, Philippines; Chengdu, China; Ehime Prefecture, Japan; Goyang, South Korea; Haikou, China; Incheon, South Korea; Iwaki City, Japan; Laoag City, Philippines; Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands; Nagaoka City, Japan; Ormoc City, Philippines; Rabat, Morocco; Zhongshan, China, and observers from Taiwan.
A sister-city relationship is an internationally accepted standard upon which closer economic, business and cultural exchanges between two foreign cities are promoted. Hawaii’s four counties currently maintain sister-city relationships with 71 cities, including 27 for the City and County of Honolulu, 24 for Maui County, 6 for Hawaii County and 14 for Kauai County.
Hawaii businesses and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to participate in the Sister-Cities Summit welcome reception, plenary session, panel discussions, luncheon and signing ceremony. Hawaii residents may register online at www.hawaiisistercitiessummit.com. For more information, visit the Sister-Cities Summit website at www.hawaiisistercitiessummit.com