Mayor of Miami-Dade County visits Cork County to sign Sister County Agreement 12th June 2017.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Séamus McGrath today welcomed a delegation from Miami – Dade County led by the Mayor of Miami Dade, Carlos A. Gimenez. The delegation has travelled to Cork to sign a sister county agreement between Cork County and Miami-Dade County.
The Cork County Miami Dade County Sister Agreement will aim to develop and strengthen relations between companies, institutions, organizations and individual entrepreneurs in the sectors of Information Technology, Biotechnology, Tourism, Food, and Crafts/Family Business.
Speaking of the agreement, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath highlighted the additional opportunities made available through this agreement, “The Cork County Miami-Dade County Sister Agreement will offer enhanced commercial and cultural links between both our counties that I am sure will provide enormous dividends for both regions.”
This will be the second such agreement with an US county. The Cork County Cook County sister agreement was signed over 20 years ago and has delivered a number of economic and tourism benefits, including the establishment of the Cork Convention Bureau which sees over €35m generated in business tourism.
“Cork County will be joining 26 other cities and counties that have signed Sister City and County Agreements with Miami-Dade,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Much like family, this relationship will be strong and mutually beneficial. Today, we celebrate the similarities between our two communities and pledge to work together in the spirit of mutual cooperation and friendship.”
Tourism continues as the principal industry for Miami-Dade County, however its close proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean have made it the centre of international trade with these areas while PortMiami is one of the top ten containerised ports in the US.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Mr. Tim Lucey is keenly aware of the prospects available through the agreement, “Fáilte Ireland figures indicate that a quarter of US visitors to Ireland come from the Southern US states, of which Florida and Miami form part, while PortMiami is considered the ‘Cruise Capital of the World.’”
Mr. Lucey went on to say, “We have made significant progress in developing business relations within the cruise industry which are now delivered in a growing number of cruise liners visiting the West Cork coastline in 2017. I am confident that our sister agreement with Miami-Dade will offer even greater advances.”
Miami-Dade’s two largest economic engines are Miami International Airport and PortMiami. WOW air will commence its new Cork – US service next month, making low-cost transatlantic connections from Cork to Miami a reality while creating valuable tourism potential. Aer Lingus recently announced direct flights from Miami to Dublin commencing in September 2017.
Commercial Manager at the Port of Cork Captain Michael McCarthy welcomed the agreement between Cork and Miami saying: ‘Back in 2013 the Port of Cork signed a sister seaport agreement with PortMiami, the ‘Cruise Capital of the World’. The benefit of this mutual agreement meant we could benchmark Cork’s cruise business with PortMiami who have extensive experience in operating cruise terminals. Since then our relationship with Miami has got stronger and our cruise business has grown significantly and we welcome Cork County Council’s willingness to work with us to further grow the cruise business.’
He continued: ‘This year we will welcome 68 cruise liners to Cork bringing over 140,000 passengers to the region. These passengers make substantial economic contribution to the region.’
Mayor McGrath considers the timing ideal for both counties, “The Cork County Miami-Dade County agreement will promote Cork from both a tourism and business perspective, while offering the same for Miami. This agreement also supports the Port of Cork and Cork Airport in forging similar links with their respective counterparts and with mutual benefits. I am confident that we can create great results for our respective counties and look forward to signing the agreement on behalf of the people of Cork County.”