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San Antonio, TX 78283

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International Affairs September 2009 Update

Riverwalk Draws Technical Visits From Asia

San Antonio Riverwalk Draws Multiple Technical Visits From Asia in August 

August was a busy month for San Antonio partners involved in the operation and improvement of the San Antonio River and it’s renowned Riverwalk.  Three delegations eager to discuss best practices in river management came from Yangzhou and Nanjing, China followed by a TV crew from Ulsan, Korea.    International Affairs Department thanks the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and Downtown Operations for its continued openness to sharing best practices in river management with people worldwide.

Visit from Yangzhou, China

Official visit from Yangzhou, China—August 1, 2009

Yangzhou City, China situated on the Yangtze River sent its second mission this year of 8 government officials to formally invite Mayor Julian Castro to attend their Canal Cities Expo and to consider forging a sister city relation.    River management and water resource protection—central tourism strategies—bring repeat visits to SARA. Occupied with the budget process, Mayor Castro awarded his invitation to SARA external communications manager Steven Schauer.   Mayor Castro and Councilwoman Elisa Chan hosted a luncheon in their honor at the Westin Hotel attended by officials from the Free Trade Alliance’s China Initiatives Committee. 



Mayor Julian Castro exchanges gifts with Mr. Yang Mingrong, head of Yangzhou delegation.

Exchange with Japanese Sister City

IAD facilitates first UTSA College of Architecture exchange with Japanese sister city — July 23, 2009

Associate Dean and current President of Japan America Society San Antonio, Taeg Nishimoto, led a group of nine students to Tokyo and Kumamoto to study Japanese architecture, including avant-garde Kumamoto Artpolis.     The City arranged home stays for these first-time travelers to Japan.


Professor Nishimoto (center) with UTSA students and Mayor Kohyama of Kumamoto (left of Nishimoto.

US/Mexico Sister Cities Conference

IAD Director Speaks at US/Mexico Sister Cities Conference on NAFTA anniversary — August 6, 2009

Elizabeth Costello presented in a panel discussing Economic Impact/Community Involvement of San Antonio in a Post-NAFTA context.   Her presentation showcased the evolution of sister city relationships into San Antonio’s foreign trade office program as viable economic development strategies that have generated over $300m in trade.

State of Aguascalientes

San Antonio hosts Secretary of Planning and Development for the State of Aguascalientes — August 3, 2009

Mr. Ricardo de Alba Obregon led state leaders to discuss planning and transportation issues with State of Texas, City of San Antonio, and Bexar County officials.   Councilman David Medina presided a luncheon for delegates which also included Jorge Garc é s, Managing Director of North American Development Bank.   The Governor of Aguascalientes and delegation members own second homes in San Antonio, evidence that San Antonio continues to resonate in Mexico.

Visit from Nanjing, China

Visit from Nanjing, China — August 14, 2009

Five engineers and public servants from the Qinhuai District of Nanjing, China visited San Antonio for a technical tour of the River Walk and River Improvements project.   Nanjing restored its once severely polluted river in 1985 making it a popular resort.   Committed to maintaining and improving this asset, officials sought advice from SARA and Downtown Operations.

South Korean TV Station

Documentary on River Walk by South Korean TV Station August 14, 2009 

Facing the Sea of Japan, Ulsan is South Korea’s industrial powerhouse and home to Hyundai Motor Company. Ulsan Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) filmed the River Walk for inclusion in a documentary on Ulsan’s Taehwa River. They interviewed the San Antonio River Authority, Downtown Operations, and Paseo Del Rio River Cruises on river management (IAD/CVB).

Authentic Korean Pavilion

Gwangju, South Korea Sister City delegation prepares to build authentic Korean Pavilion August 23-27, 2009

A technical delegation from the City of Gwangju and the NamKwang Construction Company surveyed the proposed site for locating their sister city gift at the Denman Estate park near Fredericksburg and Callaghan Roads.   A team led by Christopher Kim of West-East Architects and City counterparts in the Parks and CIMS Departments worked on logistics and construction roles. The Korean delegation laid out an aggressive plan to begin construction within the next two months.   Completion is expected by early spring. 

Artist Rendering of Korean Pavilion at Denman Estate

Texas Trade & Investment Mission to Mexico City

San Antonio present at the 10th Annual Texas Trade & Investment Mission to Mexico City Energy Sector — August 24-26, 2009 

In event organized by Governor Rick Perry’s Office and the ensuing trade led by Secretary of State Hope Andrade convened top PEMEX officials, high-level Mexican government officials, and Texas elected and appointed officials around the energy sector.   Jill Metcalfe participated in the two day program by attending all meetings and networking events with this important group focused on the growing energy sector in Mexico and Texas.


Export Leaders 2010

Export Leaders Steering Committee convenes, explores ambitious program—September 1, 2009

The Export leaders 2010 Steering Committee met to outline the goals and objectives of the program. The 10th anniversary edition of the program will expand its horizons to include a European Union destination and new site visits relevant to international trade.   Full details will be announced on Oct 1st when the application will be available online.


Trade Missions

Trade Missions from Mexico

August 11-12  Ferroarte  de Mexico SA de CV is  one of the largest   Mexican  manufacturers  of  metal furniture designed for the international market.  Established in 1993 in Coahuila, Mexico, the company  has established a network of more than 18 sales representatives across the United States, selling their pieces to well know retailers and designers showrooms. In an effort to expand their business, they are also manufacturing structural metal for contractors, customized pieces and materials for manufacturers and other specialty items. A recent partnership with The Singleton Group, a GSA certified San Antonio company, resulted in a 6 million dollar contract with the US Government. Ferro Arte de Mexico SA de CV is currently looking for business partnerships with contractors, manufacturers, architects and urban developers in the Texas region.

August 13-14 Comalito is an innovative patented  unit designed  to keep food warm  right at your table without electricity. Originally designed for home use, its success in Mexico has made the company to target  food service distributors, restaurant chains,  restaurant equipment  suppliers, large retailers  and catering  companies.   On August 13 and 14, they met   with  potential clients, international trade organizations and warehousing facilities (Port San Antonio) during their trip to San Antonio. Current clients in Mexico include: Superama, Wal-Mart, kitchenware stores, and more. Currently exporting to only one client in the U.S. Annual sales are over a million.  In the next two months, they will establish operations in San Antonio.  

Yucatan Visit

Yucatan in the Heart of Texas —   September 10, 2009

The City of San Antonio and the Instituto Cultural de Mexico are proud to present a special evening of traditional dance and music from the state of Yucatan, Mexico on Thursday, September 10.   The event will take place at the Auditorium of the Instituto Cultural de Mexico, 600 HemisFair Park at 7 PM. And will include performances by renowned singer/pianist Ligia Camara and the Ballet Folklorico “Flor de Maiz de Yucatan.”

Mexican National Independence Celebrations

San Antonio Celebrates Mexican National Independence —September 2-18, 2009 

Join in on the celebration with an exciting program filled with stimulating, diverse and educational festivities for people of all ages wishing to observe the 199th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence from Spain. Events will be held at various locations around the city from September 2 - 18. This year’s schedule includes a wide-ranging series of spectacular events, each as distinctive and culturally rich as the city’s residents.    Download a PDF version of the 2009 calendar.
Upcoming Trade Missions

Trade Missions from Mexico 

September 9-10  Gaya Imports will participate in a trade mission to promote its high quality vanilla products. Being one of the largest producers of vanilla in Mexico, this company will meet with potential distributors, sales representatives and retailers in San Antonio. Its line of products include vanilla extract, vanilla liquor and vanilla vines. They sell in Europe, Latin America and across the United States.

September 14-15 Wellcom, an IT solutions company will visit San Antonio to meet with potential business partners, service providers and clients to evaluate the feasibility to establish its US headquarters in San Antonio. This company offers customized software to capture data and generate real time statistics for any business. Their clients include Deloitte, Pricewater House Coopers, Ideasoft and more.

September 16-17 One de Mexico, a galvanized steel manufacturer with sales of more than 8 million dollars per year, will visit San Antonio to meet with building contractors, manufacturers, water tank suppliers, automotive manufacturers and other potential customers. They will hire business services providers in our city to set up an office or distribution facility in San Antonio. 
Aerospace Event


IDZ Technologies, provider of RFID based technology for inventory control, and the International Affairs Department will host an evening conference to explore solutions to current warehouse operations within the Aerospace Industry and guarantee security, inventory control and ultimately reduce overall costs. Secretary of the State of Texas Hope Andrade will be the guest of honor. Government officials and industry leaders will be invited to this afternoon event. IDZ main clients include the US Air force, auto manufacturers and large retailers in Latin America. 
San Antonio World Wise


Interviews with Reynaldo Cano, Assistant Director of International Affairs and Gabriela Franco-Palafox, Director of Instituto Cultural de Mexico. Also: Five minute special on Paseo de La Reforma, one of the largest, most historic boulevard’s in the Western Hemisphere.   Click here to view. 

For information on other international events, visit the NEW International Calendar of Events.

If you and your company are interested in exporting or importing products or services we recommend you contact Iñigo Arzac, International Trade and Investment Manager, for information on the IAD’s business assistance services.   If you have any questions regarding the items published in this newsletter, please contact Jose M. Vega, Chief of Protocol, at 210-207-8102.