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Tue, 02/15/2011 - 1:30pm

Government Representatives and Business Leaders from Khabarovsk Visit Portland

News | International Visitors

In December the World Affairs Council of Oregon hosted an Open World Delegation from Portland’s sister city, Khabarovsk, Russia. The Open World Program, an initiative of the U.S. Library of Congress, hosts current and future leaders from 10 post-Soviet countries in order to provide exposure to the United States’ political and economic systems and strengthen the ties between the two regions. The delegation was in Oregon from December 10th–18th, and consisted of five government representatives and business leaders from Khabarovsk Krai.

The group started their weeklong program with a trip to City Hall, meeting with staff from Mayor Sam Adam’s office and learning about City efforts in economic development, youth civic involvement, and government-media relations. A surprise visit from Mayor Adams allowed the visitors to share their vision for expanding the existing cooperation between Portland and Khabarovsk. It was also a chance to discuss the use of social media in public outreach efforts, and true to form, both the Mayor and the delegates were quick to announce the success of the meeting to American and Russian followers via Twitter.

Other highlights of the group’s visit included meetings with the offices of Congressmen David Wu and Earl Blumenauer, the US Small Business Administration, the Software Association of Oregon, Willamette Week, and visits to Cannon Beach, Portland State University and the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. The Portland Khabarovsk Sister City Association hosted an evening reception for the group to explore future opportunities for cooperation between the cities. Now that the delegation has returned to Russia, they hope to continue to build upon the relationships they made during their visit and begin organizing several cultural and educational exchanges between Portland and Khabarovsk.

We would like to thank all of those in the local community who worked to make this program a success and extended such a warm welcome to our Russian guests, including all of our professional resources, Alan Ellis and the Portland Khabarovsk Sister City Association, Daniel and Elena Werner, and Reinhart and Helma Engelmann. We would also like to give a special thanks to our homestay hosts Vernon Popowski, Anne O’Neill, Anna Sommo and Matt Crampton, and Dayna Gates. Hosts provided hospitality, friendship and a first-hand experience of U.S. culture to the delegates, all of which are invaluable in making our visitors feel at home. Thank you!

Visitors from Portland’s sister city Khabarovsk, Russia meet with Mayor Sam Adams in City Hall

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