Dignitaries from Auburn’s Sister City of Pyeongchang, South Korea, including the city’s new mayor, Jae-Kook Sim, visited Auburn leaders at City Hall on Wednesday, the latest goodwill exchange between the communities.
“Auburn is a beautiful city … and the people have given us a very warm welcome,” said Sim, whose group and other officials are involved in the planning of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which Pyeongchang will host.
“He is very generous,” Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus said of Sim. Backus and a local delegation visited the Korean city earlier this year.
The Pyeongchang delegation also spent time in Vancouver, British Columbia, which hosted the Winter Games in 2010.
Having already established productive economic, educational and cultural ties with Tamba, Japan, Auburn has built Sister City relationships with Pyeongchang and Guanghan, China, and is in the process of bringing aboard Mola di Bari, Italy.
The benefits are many, and it’s good for business, said Duanna Richards, neighborhood programs manager/Sister City liaison for the City of Auburn.
“We’re in this global economy,” Richards said of the economic opportunities. “A lot of the people who are here are volunteers from the community (with the Sister Cities program) who believe in relationship building internationally or have a particular interest with a city we are building that relationship with.”
The Auburn Washington Sister Cities Association (AWSCA) is a community-based organization providing opportunities for Auburn residents to develop relationships with the peoples of the world through cultural exchanges, educational programs and community events.
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PHOTO BELOW: City leaders, staff and employees welcome Jae-Kook Sim, the mayor of Pyeongchang, South Korea, middle, at the steps of City Hall on Wednesday. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter