VALPARAISO | The city has signed an agreement to enter into "friendly relations" with the Nanhu District of Jiaxing City in the Zhejian province of China.
The agreement formalizes a memorandum of understanding to explore a sister city arrangement between the two signed during the Chinese delegation's visit to Valparaiso last year. That visit was the result of a trip by Valparaiso officials to the Chinese district in 2010.
Mayor Jon Costas said, "Going forward, we have established a relationship with Nanhu District. We're excited to share ideas with them and to learn from their new perspective."
Under the agreement, "the two cities will develop and exchange various types of information in the areas of economy and trade, culture, education, sports, public health, government, civil service and more to promote common prosperity and development."
The connection was arranged through Valparaiso University's Confucius Institute, which provided logistical and translating services. City Economic Development Director Matt Murphy said the Chinese officials have invited the mayor to bring another delegation to the district in the fall.
No commitment was made on a return visit, but Murphy said it would have to be paid for with private donations, as was the first trip.