sister city head seeks stronger commercial links
new chairman for Miami-Dade's Coordinating Council for Sister Cities
says he wants to transform the nature of the county's sister city
ties by putting the emphasis on forging commercial ties.
the years passed," said Walter A. Loy, chairman of the Coordinating
Council, executive vice chairman of global affairs for the Greater
Miami Chamber of Commerce and senior advisor of international affairs
for JPoole Associates, "we focused on volunteer work in case
of a natural disaster, where cities needed assistance at that moment.
think we've got to go beyond that and go commercial with the economies
that are bouncing back. Where they're not, maybe we can assist them
and help make them stronger."
council dean and
r in April by Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas,
Mr. Loy said the job fits his philosophy of associating with cultures
overseas and bonding with them.
said he will push for more alliances but they must be "meaningful."
Criteria, Mr. Loy said, include a seaport and airport, and either
a population similar to Miami-Dade's or a strong tourist economy.
he said his personal focus as chairman will be to work on market-based
relationships, he is prepared to execute the mayor's and council's
upcoming events, Mr. Loy said the mayor is pushing for a trade mission
to Africa, possibly in February. He said the organization is also
working on forming educational ties with cities and creating an exchange
council chairman David Perez-Ginart, a private psychologist, said
Mr. Loy has worked with him since 1991, serving as vice chairman.
goals are very much in line with the foundations we have laid down
in the last nine years," Mr. Perez-Ginart said. "All the
relationships created have opened the gateway to the development of
commerce ties, specifically in new emerging technologies, in which
Greater Miami is becoming an important leader in the hemisphere."
Ginart said it is important to have new leadership and let other volunteers
serve as chairman.
Ojeda, director of the mayor's office of protocol, international trade
& commerce, under which the Sister Cities Program operates, said when
Mr. Penelas re-organized his office in '97, he set out to streamline
Sister Cities and bring it in line with the county's international
agenda. He said the mayor wanted to increase trade ties through the
Loy echoes the mayor's philosophy. He has a history of international
involvement with the chamber of commerce," Mr. Ojeda said. "He
is a great diplomat and the perfect man for the job. Through his contacts
and expertise, he can give us advise and carry out the mayor's ambitious
from Coral Gables' and Miami's sister cities operations say although
theirs are separate from the county's program, efforts also center
on forming business friendships abroad and conducting student exchange
programs, among other endeavors.
Cities was started in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a
way US citizens could be involved in diplomacy. Today 1,200 cities
have programs and more than 2,000 relationships around the world with
cities in the US.