Chiang Mai is about to become a sister city with Austin, the capital city of Texas, at a ceremony this weekend.
Nirat Phongsittithaworn, the governor of Chiang Mai, will sign a memorandum of understanding at Austin City Hall on Sunday with Mayor Kirk Watson to launch the initiative.
A 30-member visiting delegation from Thailand will join the Thai Ambassador to the United States, Tanee Sangrat, and the US Consul General in Chiang Mai, Lisa Buzenas, at the ceremony.
A kickoff event will follow at Wat Buddhananachat, a Buddhist temple just southeast of Austin.
Austin currently has 13 sister cities, in countries including Mexico, Peru, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and India. There are also three “friendship cities” — in Cambodia, France and Mexico — that are in the process of becoming sister cities.
According to the City of Austin website, the sister cities pact aims to facilitate collaboration between the local governments of Austin and Chiang Mai, promote trade, investment and economic development for mutual benefit, and cultivate new educational and cultural connections
The Thai delegation is visiting Austin from Nov 11 to 16 for a series of meetings, exchanges and business matchmaking events.
“We hope to meet new partners and friends, participate in an exchange of ideas and expertise, generate important new economic ties between our cities, and of course share the beauty of Thai culture and incredible Thai food with communities in Austin,” said Mr Nirat.
“Austin and Chiang Mai share many similarities,” said Mr Watson. “Both cities stand as global hubs for art, culture, music, food and film.
“We share a commitment to cutting-edge technology, creative industries, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. We envision significant potential for both cities as we collaborate on shared goals.”