Over 150 government and business leaders from Asia will be in Iowa next week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Iowa’s “sister-state” relationship with an area in northern China.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad traveled to China’s Hebei Province in 1983 to sign a sister-state agreement with the region. He visited the area this past April during a week-long trade mission.
On Tuesday of next week, a “signing ceremony” will be held in Des Moines to commemorate a variety of commodity purchases, trade deals and educational exchanges between Iowans and the people of Hebei. According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the total value of those trade and investment deals will approach a billion dollars.
In 1985 a group from Iowa’s Chinese sister-state visited the state. Among the group was a low-ranking agricultural official in Hebei Province who is now China’s president.