Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sister Sister

Kippen de Alba Chu, Carlos Jarez, Rep. Karen Awana, Jose Luis Silva Martinot and wife, Noelia R. Paez, Rep. Mark Hashem
Jose Luis Silva Martinot, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism for Peru, recently met with Hawaii lawmakers and tourism officials to discuss establishing a sister-state relationship with the Province of Lima, Peru.

It was one of several meetings held during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference to build bridges and positive relationships between Hawaii and Peru for economic growth that will benefit both governments.

Participating in Monday’s meeting with Minister Martinot were Rep. Karen Awana, Chair of the International Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives; Rep. Mark Hashem, District 18 (Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Aina Haina, Wailupe, Kahala); and Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The Legislature last session passed a resolution requesting the Governor to establish the sister-state relationship through the Hawaii sister-state committee. Rep. Mark Hashem introduced the bill.

The bill was introduced to expand the state's international ties by developing goodwill, friendship, and economic relations with other countries. Hawaii has maintained 15 sister-state relationships, mostly between Asia and the Pacific.

Impressed by the Hawaii State Convention, Martinot met with state officials to learn about how it was established and the possibility of creating a government-owned convention center of their own in Peru.

“This is what APEC is all about,” said Rep. Karen Awana. “It gave us an opportunity to meet with leaders of other countries and participate in a discourse to share and learn about each other’s economies and cultures while building and fostering new ties.”

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