Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA), at the invitation of the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office, participated in the 2012 China International Friendship Cities Conference in Chengdu, China on September 11 to 14, 2012. Robert Fraser, President of PSSCA was invited to accept the ”Certificate of Honor” awarded to Portland for being a Model Sister City for “Communication and Cooperation with China”. The two-day conference with the theme, “Green Life, Happy Cities” was one of China's highest-level sister city exchanges, attracting delegations from 49 countries. More than 700 representatives from 95 foreign cities and 90 domestic cities attended the conference.
Delegates discussed their understanding on hot issues concerning cosmopolitan development, city transformation, emergencies and disaster relief, the aging of urban populations and investment. Robert Fraser made a presentation entitled “The benefits of developing and managing an urban growth boundary in Portland”, with emphasis on Portland’s plan for sustainable growth.
Delegates attended a seminar on city development as well as a forum on regional cooperation. Also discussed was a tourism alliance with its twin cities to try to reach a final agreement on the Chengdu Declaration that promotes tourism cooperation among the sister cities.
Established in 2008 and co-sponsored by Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China International Friendship Cities Association, the CIFCC provides a multilateral venue for local governments, their sister cities, and other international organizations to work together.