The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) recently hosted Mayor Cho Kwang-Han and a delegation of City Council members, officers and staff from Namyangju City, Republic of Korea. The event also included Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, executive office officials, the Howard County-Namyangju Sister City Committee, and the Columbia Association’s International Exchange Program.

The establishment of a future-oriented partnership between Howard County and Namyangju City would provide citizens in both jurisdictions with the opportunity to participate in homestay programs. Like Sister City Relationships managed by the Columbia Association (CA), International Exchange programs offer youth and adults the opportunity to cultivate a global mindset by experiencing global history, culture, and language. CA currently manages five Sister City Relationships which include Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain; Tema, Ghana; Cap-Haitien, Haiti; and Liyang, China.

Established in September 2019, Howard County Namyangju Sister City Committee (HCNSS) is comprised of 20 Howard County residents who will act as the conduit for communication to facilitate a potential partnership between Namyangju City and Howard County.

The event follows interest cultivated from the August 2019 signing of an Memorandum of Understanding between HCEDA and Born2Global which established Born2Global as the first participants in the Innovation Center’s Soft-Landing Program. The mutual interest in cultivating a Friendship Exchange City relationship between Howard County and Namyangju City will support exchanges in fields such as youth education, administration systems, culture, language, and history.