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Toronto and Rio to become sister cities prior to Pan Am Games

Toronto and Rio to become sister cities prior to Pan Am Games

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 21, 2015

Toronto is in advanced negotiations with Rio de Janeiro to become sister cities before the 2015 Pan Am Games.

The deal has been in the works for a couple of years and will see Rio become an official “friendship city.” If the agreement is formalized, Rio will be Toronto’s first new twin city in nearly 10 years, since Quito and Ho Chi Minh City became friendship cities in 2006.

“We’re negotiating a new friendship relationship with Rio de Janeiro that’s probably going to be signed the day prior to the Pan Am Games by Mayor John Tory (open John Tory's policard) and the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes,” said Ronald Wandel, the city’s strategic alliances manager.

“With all the talk of trading with partners and trade agreements in the Americas, we had no representation in some rapidly growing areas, so we decided to try and do something in Brazil.”

The timing of the agreement is significant. The Toronto Global Forum takes place from July 8-10, just before the Pan Am Games commence. It offers “opportunities for business meetings aimed at promoting partnerships among major Canadian and international corporations.”

Rio hosted the Pan Am Games in 2007, the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and will host the upcoming Olympic Games in 2016.

“We’re both looking at how cities can use events for economic development, investment attraction and trade promotion,” Wandel said.

“We’re still working on the writing of the agreement between the two cities. The Mayor in Rio wants something tangible, as do we.

“There are two aspects we look for in any relationship – how we can help Toronto companies enter the other market, and how we can attract investment from the other market to Toronto.”

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