Friday, May 16, 2008

Pittsburgh May Get New Sister City

What began as a series of trade missions to Mexico may lead to a new sister city relationship for Pittsburgh. A group of volunteers is working on building the relationship with Aguascalientes, a fast-growing industrial center in central Mexico. The sister city effort evolved from a grant Duquesne University received last year to promote trade between the Pittsburgh region and Mexico. Volunteers with the sister city group will have a display table at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival at the convention center this weekend. A similar group is simultaneously displaying information about Pittsburgh at the annual St. Marcos Festival in Aguascalientes.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh businesses are preparing to leave Monday for their second trade mission to Aguascalientes and Jalisco, Mexico. Participating businesses include those in the tool and die, medical devices, and software industries.

Brent Rondon with Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center says the sister city relationship would help foster business, educational and cultural ties. Pittsburgh does not yet have a sister city in Mexico. Rondon hopes the relationship can be formalized by sometime next year.

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