2017: International Annual Report

Twente has a long, proud history of textile barons whose international entrepreneurship brought great economic prosperity to the region. In 2017, Enschede has worked similarly hard to strengthen its international position.

The municipal administration of Enschede leverages its international networks to help local entrepreneurs and knowledge institutes find global business or education partners.  Whether this means approaching our sister cities of Enschede — Dalian in China and Palo Alto in Silicon Valley — or our contacts in the Euro region or the Eurocities network: Enschede into the world!

In turn, Enschede also wants to be accessible for international visitors, students and companies alike: the world into Enschede!

For instance, Enschede invited five friendly cities to be its guests at the international Smart City Conference in July. Dalian, Palo Alto, Münster, Heidelberg and Linköping learned that Enschede is a frontrunner in the field of drone testing. And partnering closely on issues such as mobility or energy transitions will generate considerable new knowledge and business networks.

This annual report provides an impression of our international activities in 2017. The activities we undertook in the context of our 'Germany agenda' are included separately in an annual overview:

Welcome in 2018 to groundbreaking Enschede!

Introduction to sister city Dalian

Dalian, a Chinese metropolis, became a sister city of Enschede in 2009. To deepen the cities' collaboration, Enschede invited a consultant from the Foreign Affairs Office in Dalian, Chloe Conghui, to complete a two-month work placement in our city in the spring of 2017. This intensive introduction to our city and municipality has contributed greatly to Enschede's profile and to more fluid communication between the cities.

This summer in Dalian, Mayor Onno van Veldhuizen and Mayor Xiao Shenfeng confirmed their cities' friendship in a Memorandum of Understanding.  Signing the memorandum transformed Enschede from a 'Friendly Cooperative City' into an official 'Sister City' with  the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. This means that both cities will stimulate and support collaboration in the fields of economics, science and technology, health care, education and culture and sport.

During the same visit, as a guest of the Mayor of Dalian, Onno van Veldhuizen also attended the World Economic Forum, the conference at which world leaders from the business community discuss the world's economic situation.

Introduction to sister city Palo Alto

Enschede has a valuable relationship with Palo Alto, our American 'sister city'. The collaboration with this city, located in Silicon Valley where companies such as Google, Facebook and Tesla Motors are based, is mainly aimed at strengthening our respective knowledge economies.Since the last work mission in November 2015, the link between the cities has expanded with the inclusion of a Smart City area, where people share their knowledge about Open Data and ICT solutions for mobility issues.

Introduction to Poland

In 2017, Enschede also began exploring relationships with Poland, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. The relationships have a tri-part focus: acquiring Polish companies, increasing the sales market for Twente companies and finding new partnerships.

European networks and lobbying

In addition to the focus countries, the municipality of Enschede participates in a range of European networks. These networks, such as that of Eurocities, are beneficial for exchanging knowledge, for seeing how other cities tackle similar issues and for promoting the profile of Enschede and Twente within Europe.