Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Sister cities benefit beyond good will


Business connections developing

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The national Sister Cities project began humbly with a simple goal: Save the planet from another world war by pairing foreign cities to share their cultures with each other.

[photo] LAWYER JOHN BANNER TELLS HIS UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI BUSINESS LAW CLASS ABOUT THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF SISTER CITIES PROGRAMS.
(Jeff Swinger photos)
| ZOOM |
        Forty-four years later, Sister Cities has become a globe-spanning network that exchanges much more than just culture. The plan for world peace, national and local leaders say, has evolved into a catalyst for social, professional and economic development.

        In Cincinnati, where sister relationships have been forged with seven other cities, the program has helped to snare more than $15 million in foreign investments.

        “I don't think we could have (negotiated Hofbrauhaus) without (Sister Cities). The group clearly cultivated the way,” said Andi Udris, president and chief executive officer of Hofbrauhaus America LLC. Mr. Udris oversees negotiations in Cincinnati.

        The Munich-based brewery and restaurant is one of two foreign companies that wishes to locate its American headquarters in the Queen City.

        Baerlocher Production USA, a plastics manufacturing company, broke ground in May for a 40,000-square-foot plant in Winton Place.

        Hofbrauhaus has expressed interest in a riverfront site and is awaiting the creation of a joint county and city Port Authority that will oversee riverfront development.

        The Port Authority could be approved by August and would begin discussing riverfront development soon after, officials said.

[photo] THE CHOREMEINSCHAFT LEIDEN CHRISTI CHOIR PERFORMED AT ST. PETER IN CHAINS CATHEDRAL FOR THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CINCINNATI-MUNICH SISTER CITIES COMMITTEE.
| ZOOM |
        Neil Hensley, director of business attraction for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, had been negotiating with Baerlocher officials since 1998. He said it wasn't until the Cincinnati-Munich Sister Cities committee entered the mix in 1999 that things began falling into place.

        Munich is the capital of Bavaria, in southeastern Germany.

        “We'd hoped those ties of familiarity and trust would extend into the business community,” Mr. Hensley said. “It was another plus for our area.”

        Hans Spitzner, vice minister for the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Transport and Technology, echoed Mr. Hensley.

        “There are many, many cities that come and represent themselves to us,” Mr. Spitzner said during a recent visit to Cincinnati. “Without Sister Cities we may not have discovered Cincinnati.”

- Sister cities benefit beyond good will
    "Sister" program's origins traced to Ike in '56



Bengals let go of sellout guarantee
Program could help restore cemetery
Tristate viewers revel in suspense
RADEL: Nordstrom deal
Hospital to lose $12M in funding
Walnut St. Bridge open
Tributes, pain for slain scientist
West Chester: A name by any other wouldn't be so sweet
Barleycorn's to sail into N.Ky. history
3 boys held in school vandalism
Budget pencils in tax roll-back
City could lower property-tax rate
Classes feed grass roots
Clermont wreck leaves teen dead
Deerfield: We need more police
Design entries chosen
Friends of crash victims trying to copy with tragedy
Kidnap suspect indicted
Land sought for sewer plant
Lawsuits against Kenton dismissed
Lebanon electric rates to go up
Local Community Shares receives grant to start volunteer program
Man douses blaze
Missing girl, 3, found
Monroe schools to get funds
more teens die in separate wrecks
Movie review: 'Patriot' gamey
Nader could be on Ky. ballot
Northern Kentucky News Briefs
Palm trees adjusting to climate
Parking lot cost up $400,000
Portman mentioned for veep
Principal arrives at Losantiville
So, just why does 'Brady Bunch' live on?
CROWLEY: Why we matter
BIG PIG GIG: Chop 'Til You Drop
Get to it
Tristate A.M. Report