St. Louis Also Signs MOU with Buenos Aires
The St. Louis region has a new sister city in Rosario, Argentina, marking the first new Sister City in nearly a decade. The Sister Cities agreement was signed as part of a week-long trade mission to Argentina in November 2017. With the signing of the formal agreement, St. Louis and Rosario pledged to collaborate for the mutual benefit of their communities by exploring economic, educational and cultural opportunities.
St. Louis and Rosario share a number of important connections, particularly in the agricultural sector. Global agricultural leaders Bunge and Monsanto maintain a strong presence in St. Louis and Argentina, and two Argentinian companies, AgIdea and S4, chose St. Louis as the best location to launch their North American locations. The Sister Cities agreement will deepen existing relationships and develop new opportunities for connection.
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and World Trade Center St. Louis (WTCSL) led the trade delegation. Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney, WTCSL Executive Director Tim Nowak and senior-level executives from many St. Louis-area companies and organizations attended, including Benson Hill Biosystems, BioMerieux, Bryan Cave, Bunge, Cambridge Innovation Center, Cortex, KWS, Monsanto, Saint Louis University, Washington University, Venture Café Global Institute and others.
“We had a very productive and enjoyable week in South America,” WTCSL Executive Director Tim Nowak said. “Through an aggressive agenda, we were able to lay the foundations for enhanced future connections economically through trade and investment, academically through our universities and culturally through our institutions.”
In addition to the Sister Cities agreement, the Partnership also jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its economic development counterpart Invest Buenos Aires to cooperatively promote trade and investment opportunities between the two regions for mutual benefit.
The trade mission, which made stops in both Buenos Aires and Rosario, focused heavily on shared strengths in the agricultural technology and financial technology sectors and innovation, ways regional leaders from St. Louis, Buenos Aires and Rosario can capitalize on those strengths through trade and investment, as well as promote cultural and academic exchanges.
Visits in Buenos Aires included presentations on an economic overview of Argentina, meetings with local government leaders, networking opportunities with more than 50 Argentinian companies and panel discussions and breakouts focused on AgTech, FinTech and innovation.
Chef Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smokehouse brought a taste of St. Louis to Buenos Aires with cooking classes for the local restaurant association and TV audience.
In Rosario, St. Louis-based Yield Lab, an AgTech accelerator, announced it would be expanding operations to Argentina, extending its global reach to South America. The Yield Lab previously expanded to Europe when it opened an operation in Ireland last year.
“The presence of the St. Louis delegation was critical for the deployment of the Yield Lab LATAM,” Yield Lab Latin America Managing Director Tomás Peña said. “We will be always grateful for their support.”
Other presentations covered Argentina’s solutions to global food supply, business opportunities between the two countries and an early-stage showcase and challenges of its AgTech ecosystem.
Following the trip, civic, business and academic leaders will continue to look for ways to collaborate with Argentinian partners and encourage reciprocal delegations to St. Louis.