Suwon, South Korea, could become Phoenix’s 11th sister city
Phoenix could soon have a new sister city. On Wednesday, the city council will be asked to enter into an agreement with a South Korean city.
Suwon, the headquarters for electronics giant Samsung, approached Phoenix about forming a relationship. Sister cities are long-term agreements between two communities in different countries designed to promote cultural and commercial connections.
Phoenix last signed an agreement with Ramat-Gan Israel in 2005. If the council agrees, Suwon will become Phoenix’s 11th sister city and a delegation led by Mayor Taeyoung Yeom will visit Phoenix to sign the agreement.
Phoenix’s current list of sister cities:
- Calgary, Canada
- Catania, Italy
- Chengdu, China
- Ennis, Ireland
- Hermosillo, Mexico
- Himeji, Japan
- Grenoble, France
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Ramat-Gan, Israel
- Taipei, Taiwan
Activities are privately funded through the nonprofit Phoenix Sister Cities Inc. The group proposes the following benefits through a relationship with Suwon:
- Information sharing between municipal staffs concerning Smart Cities initiatives and sustainability (especially recycling and circular economy, water and wastewater).
- Youth and education exchanges including the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, the expansion of a pilot program involving pairing classrooms around Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM), Korean culture and language-learning programs, and opportunities for Teach Abroad.
- Arts, culture and sports exchanges including performances by the Suwon choir, orchestra and taekwondo groups in Phoenix, a demonstration game between Suwon's professional team KT Wiz and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Business exchanges, especially focused on startups and high tech.