Zapopan, Mexico

City introduction

Zapopan is a city located in the Mexican state of Jalisco. It is the economic center and second-largest city in the state, with a population of 1.24 million and an area of 893 square kilometers. It is the fastest-growing municipality in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, which boasts well-developed commercial, industrial, communications and education networks. It therefore made it to the top of UNDP's Human Development Index for Mexico. Three-quarters of its land is used for agriculture and livestock farming and 15 percent is covered by forests. There are 22 industrial parks where Fortune 500 companies such as Eastman Kodak, Motorola and Coca-Cola are based. With a well-developed tourism industry, the municipality houses most of the high-end hotels in Guadalajara, driving the development of its tertiary industry. Top scenic spots in the city include Spring Forest Park and San Diego Valley. Zapopan is also a city of colorful culture with a full range of cultural facilities including municipal choirs, ballet companies, symphony orchestras, theaters, galleries, museums and performance centers. The city is also home to the most prestigious entertainment venue in Latin America – Telmex Auditorium – as well as a contemporary art museum and six themed museums.

Zapopan and Jinan

On March 15, 2012, two Mexican businessmen, Sergio Torres and Annua Malda, in the company of officials from Shandong Provincial Commission of Economy and Information Technology visited the Foreign Affairs Office of Jinan and recommended the establishment of a sister city relationship between Jinan and Zapopan. The Foreign Affairs Office explained the situation of the city's industries, particularly advantageous traditional industries, such as the stone material industry and medical device industry, and the emerging software outsourcing industry. Both sides agreed that Jinan and Mexico were highly complementary in economic and trade areas, and that through trade and economic cooperation Jinan and Zapopan could explore the possibility of building a friendly sister city relationship. Sergio Torres explained the general situations in Zapopan and expressed his willingness to play an active part in promoting friendly exchanges between the two cities.

In March 2012, Luis Fernando Barbosa Sahagun, then chair of the commission on customs and trade of the International Chamber of Commerce Mexico, led a seven-member delegation from Guadalajara in a visit to Jinan. The delegation visited a number of enterprises and signed an intention agreement on cooperation with Haizhilan International Film Co Ltd, Linuo Group, Forever Technology Co Ltd and Today Furnishing Development Co Ltd. The delegation facilitated Mexico-based Avant Global Trading Co Ltd to set up a representative office in Jinan. On March 22, Sahagun and Torres, also a member of the delegation, were interviewed by Jinan TV's City of Springs program. Vice-mayor Zhang Haibo also met with the delegation.

In September 2012, Zapopan's economic advancement bureau chief, Jose Macias, led a delegation of five members to Jinan to participate in the Jinan International Sister City Cultural Exchange 2012 and Spring Culture Dialogue. The delegation also attended an international sister city photo show, a spring culture dialogue and a signing ceremony with other participating cities for the Sister City Cultural Tourism Alliance. Macias and Jinan vice-mayor Zhang Haibo signed a letter of intent for the establishment of a sister city relationship.

In October 2012, Meng Xianghuan, deputy director of Jinan Municipal People's Congress, led an economic and trade delegation of six people to visit Zapopan. The delegation paid a visit to Vazquez, the head (vice-mayor level) of Zapopan's department of economic and tourism promotion, as well as chiefs of local government departments in charge of the economy, trade, travel and international relations. Matters related to further strengthening friendship and cooperation in education, tourism, trade and culture were discussed.

In December 2013, Sun Xiaogang, a member of Jinan Municipal CPC Standing Committee and executive vice-mayor, led a delegation of five people to visit Zapopan. The director of Zapopan's bureau for economic development and tourism cooperation explained the city's economic development to the delegation. Mayor Héctor Robles Peiro gave an overall introduction to the city's history, culture, science and technology, and education system so that the delegation had a deeper understanding of the city. 

In April 2014, a delegation of nine members headed by Roberto Carlos Rivera Miramontes, the resident of the sister city committee and a representative of the mayor of Zapopan, visited Jinan. On April 17, Zhang Haibo, vice-mayor of Jinan, met with the delegation and exchanged ideas on future cooperation in education and culture. The delegation came away with a sister city agreement signed by Zapopan's mayor, Héctor Robles Peiro.

In May 2014, Jinan Municipal People's Congress passed a bill to mandate the establishment of a sister city relationship with Zapopan and Jinan mayor Yang Luyu affixed his signature to the agreement. The knot between Jinan and Zapopan was officially tied.

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