The China Daily and Shanghai Daily recently wrote very informative and  interesting articles on Chengdu’s sister city relationships with Haifa, Israel and Horsens, Denmark. The articles provided a detailed overview of their sister city benefits and up and coming projects.  We strongly recommend our readers to read these articles for further insights and we provide further commentary about Chengdu and its sister city relationships.

Chengdu has 29 sister city relationships with cities ranging from Perth (Australia), Linz (Austria), Lodz (Poland), Bonn (Germany), Bangalore (India), Phoenix (USA), Volgograd (Russia), Winnipeg (Canada), Palermo (Italy), Gimcheon (South Korea), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Dalarna (Sweden), Zapopan (Mexico) County of Finga (Ireland), Hamilton (New Zealand), Medan (Indonesia), Montpelier (France), Lahore (Pakistan), to name a few.


Sister City relationships  provide many socio benefits ranging from cultural, educational, investment  and trade. They also allow it citizens to better understand and learn from one another’s life’s amusing and quirky experiences. published a pertinent report on this issue and measured that  “Sister cities programs contribute over $525 million to the U.S. economy each year.”

Haifa, which is Israel’s third largest city, has a history that can be traced to over three thousand years. Haifa is a major seaport over looking the Mediterranean Sea and its citizens have been immersed in commerce and trade for as long as one knows. Haifa is also known as ‘Israel’s Start up City’ and home to the ‘Matam high tech zone’ and major local and international technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amdocs. Haifa’s leading university is Technion, which is ranked as a global leader in science and research. Phillip Jacobson coined an amusing anecdote in the who stated, "Haifa works, Jerusalem prays, and Tel Aviv plays," and so true it is. 


Indeed the Chengdu and Haifa sister city relationship makes significant socio economic sense considering both cities have very common features. Both cities have an eloquent history; were cities on the ancient Silk Road, have a stable work life balance, a robust start up business climate and an eye for innovation and technology. Chengdu, which is in a constant economic evolutionary process, can materially benefit from the relationship by developing its competitive advantages and core capabilities in management processes and technology drivers.


There is no question Haifa and Israel are at the forefront of global technology start ups, its citizens have cultivated a unique understanding of business and can read socio economic trends exceptionally well, like very few can. There is something in their entrepreneurial genes that Chengdu and Western China can greatly learn and leverage from. Overtime it is these interactions that will foster collaboration and learning between likeminded professionals. 


Horsens, which is found in the East Jutland metropolitan area of Denmark has a history dating back over 1,000 years. The East Jutland area is Denmark’s second largest metropolitan area with a population over 1.2 million residents and its largest industrial harbour. The Horsens and neighbouring municipalities are well known for their, wind energy, environmental and new energy industries.

Indeed Chengdu’s and Horsen’s relationship will mould overtime and we will learn significant capabilities from the Danish who are well renowned for their technical, and managerial skills. The Danish like the Germans and Swiss, have an optimal edge when it comes to technical now how and expertise and Chengduans can learn significant competencies from developing dialogue and interacting with its citizens.

Our initial view is that the environmental and new energy industries make will create the initial business touch points for these sister cities. Chengdu, a  “national hi-tech industrial base of new energy”, has strongly encouraged the development of the wind and biomass energy and with Horsens and East Jultands capabilities within these areas the horizons for joint ventures looks promising. will regularly update its readers on these sister relationships and highlight the synergies that will further reinforce Chengdu as the central engine of Western China.

Indeed our institutions and business chambers  can create the environments to foster sister city relationships, but it is essential that likeminded, knowledgeable and talented professionals cultivate the collaboration and learning process. Learning about each other’s history and socio-economic competencies is a starting point, developing dialogue and thereafter seeing how each one’s unique ideas and synergies can create business and investment models. 

Finally, many budding European entrepreneurs will find a plethora of opportunities within Chengdu and by taking the first step in connecting with like minded professionals will assist in developing their business models and further reinforce the socio-economic benefits of sister cities. 

 Information sources :

Disclaimer : The article has been summarised from the above mentioned website and added commentary provided by