On April 22, 2017 a delegation of Aurora government, business and education leaders will travel to Aurora’s sister city in Seongnam, South Korea to participate in a week-long trade mission. This visit, hosted by Aurora Sister Cities International and Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, is meant to deepen Aurora’s existing partnership with Seongnam City by introducing Aurora leaders to the businesses and institutions that make Seongnam City such a unique place.
Seongnam City is a short 25 minute drive from the capital city of Seoul. It is known as the “Silicon Valley” of Korea as it is home to many tech companies. The city is also known for being eco-friendly and having a lively arts and culture district. Participants on this visit will have the opportunity to get an in-depth look at what makes this city click by spending four days touring City Hall, technology companies, military bases, and other key institutions in the city. Highlights of the trip include a market briefing from the U.S. Department of Commerce; a tour of Seongnam City and Incheon Airport City’s Smart City projects, and tours and meetings with representatives from the Seongnam City Industry Promotion Agency (economic development agency), Seongnam City Youth Foundation, and Seongnam City Cultural Foundation.
On April 25, ASCI will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Seongnam City focused on promoting youth exchange between the two cities. The first benefit of that exchange is a special invitation to Aurora youth aged 16-20 to receive scholarships for, and participate in, a youth leadership summit in Seongnam City in October of 2017. A reciprocal visit by Seongnam City youth is expected in August of 2018 during the dates of the annual Sister Cities International Conference which is being hosted in Aurora at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center August 1-4, 2018.
On April 26, participants from the Anschutz Medical Campus, Community College of Aurora and Visit Aurora (Aurora’s convention and visitor’s bureau) will participate in networking meetings with prospective education and research and development partners (CU Innovations Laboratory).
In March of 2016 Aurora Sister Cities International, along with the city of Aurora, hosted a delegation of 27 Koreans from Seongnam City. The purpose of this visit was to revitalize Aurora’s sister city relationship with Seongnam City- a relationship that was originally established in 1992. Mayor Jay-myung Lee, other high level city officials, as well as representatives from seven private sector businesses had the opportunity to spend almost a full week learning about Aurora institutions including Buckley Air Force Base, the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Anschutz Medical Campus, and many more! This visit also paired representatives from Colorado companies and the seven Korean companies to spark mutually beneficial trade and partnership opportunities.
The trip promises to be one of historical significance as the Republic of Korea undergoes a presidential election and Seongnam City mayor Jae-myung Lee, who visited Aurora last spring, has officially announced his intention to run for the presidential seat!