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Mayor Taylor, San Antonio Delegation On Trade Mission To Spanish Sister Cities

City of San Antonio International Relations Office
Courtsey/Twitter: @COSAIRO
San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor invites Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo Batlle to San Antonio's Tricentennial celebration in 2018

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and five members of the San Antonio City Council are in Spain this week for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual trade mission.

The cost of the trade mission trip is estimated at about $7,000 per person. The trip has a total of 40 delegates from various organizations.   The City of San Antonio paid for four staff members and the mayor to go. Each council member is paying for the trip out of their annual allocated travel budget. A total cost for the trip may not be known until once the delegation returns this weekend.

The trade mission is designed to foster and develop new business relationship between the Alamo City and the Spanish government and sister cities. San Antonio has two sister cities in Spain:  Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor is the first sitting mayor to visit the sister cities since the 1980s.

“We haven’t had a mayor over to our sister cities there since [Mayor] Lila Cockrell. The Canary Islanders were some of the founders of our city here. With the Tricentennial coming up we certainly want to cultivate those relationships and hopefully get a big contingent of folks from Spain to come over in 2018 to help us celebrate.”

The City’s Tricentennial co-chairs are making in-person invitations to King Felipe and his wife Queen Letizia of Spain to come to San Antonio for the celebration.

Itinerary so far:

 Day One:

  • Mayor Taylor began the day with an 8 a.m. briefing at the US Embassy by US Ambassador to Spain James Costos, who provided ideas for promoting San Antonio in Spain by leveraging the Tricentennial celebrations effectively.
  • City Council attended seven meetings with the Mayor to discuss San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebration and opportunities for collaboration.
  • Mayor Taylor delivered a lecture at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid focused on urban planning and economic development in relation to past, present and future.
  • Mayor Taylor met with the Mayor of Madrid, the Honorable Manuela Carmena Castrillo, to discuss best practices and Madrid’s success with citizen engagement.
  • The delegation met with the Madrid Chamber of Commerce to discuss opportunities for economic development and trade.
  • An evening dinner was hosted by Aldonza Gourmet. The company is exploring a manufacturing base in the U.S. and is looking closely at San Antonio due to its proximity to Mexico and the presence of Toyota.

Day Two: 

  • The Spain USA Council Foundation hosted the San Antonio delegation for a breakfast meeting at the historic Casa America. There were 18 representatives present at the event from Spanish infrastructure companies, including Iberola, Acciona and Ferrovial.
  • Travel to the Canary Islands was followed by a roundtable discussion and reception hosted by the University of Las Palmas. UT Health Science Center President William Henrich joined the delegation in the Canary Islands and was part of the official program. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules