San Antonio Wins “Best Overall” Sister City Program

Published on September 26, 2023

Economic Development

The prestigious award by Sister Cities International is for cities larger than 300,000 residents

SAN ANTONIO (September 26, 2023) – The City of San Antonio was named “Best Overall” program by Sister Cities International for a city with a population larger than 300,000 residents. 

“This award recognizes the outstanding work done by San Antonio Sister Cities to advance the goals and mission of Sister Cities International, while focusing equally on the importance of arts, culture, business, trade, youth, and education,” said Ricki R. Garrett and Peter Svarzbein from Sister Cities International.

San Antonio’s Sister City program positions the community as an international hub for cultural, educational and business exchange. A total of 65 Sister City engagements were recorded during the 2022 calendar year, including 33 local events and various exchanges between San Antonio and its various Sister City partners with official city representatives and citizen diplomats participating.

San Antonio is currently partnered with 12 sister cities – Monterrey, Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain; Gwangju, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; Kumamoto, Japan; Chennai, India; Wuxi, China; Windhoek, Namibia; Darmstadt, Germany; and Baguio, Philippines – with its first partnership formed in 1953. 

“There is broad recognition in international business and diplomatic circles that economic partnerships don’t just happen,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “They require a lot of work and relationship building that happens at the civic level and citizen-to-citizen level — from educational and cultural exchanges to trade.”

News of the award comes shortly after a Sister City mission to Baguio, the Philippines, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where City officials, staff, and local business leaders interfaced with counterparts and Mayor Nirenberg signed the Baguio-San Antonio Sister City Agreement. This trip follows an October 2022 visit to San Antonio by the Mayor of Baguio who signed a Friendship City Agreement.

“We are so proud of the interest and involvement we have in San Antonio for our Sister Cities and it has been an excellent platform to grow our engagement globally,” said Sherry Dowlatshahi, Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer, who oversees San Antonio’s Sister Cities program. “San Antonio is a thriving international city that attracts visitors and new residents from throughout the world.”