Sister Cities & States

Sister States

The State of Idaho has developed four sister state relationships in an effort to promote closer relations and cooperation in industry, government, agriculture, tourism, culture and education.

In February of 1996, Idaho Governor Philip E. Batt and Jalisco Governor Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez formally established the Idaho-Jalisco Sister State relationship. Located in west-central Mexico, Jalisco has a population of 5.2 million and is about half the land size of Idaho. As one of Idaho’s significant trading partners, Mexico purchases machinery and agricultural and chemical products. To assist Idaho companies interested in this market, the state maintains the Idaho-Mexico Trade Office, a joint venture of the Idaho Departments of Commerce and Agriculture and several Idaho commodity commissions, in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco.

Dancers in Jalisco Mexico

Photo courtesy of

Shanxi Province, People’s Republic of China

In an effort to promote mutual understanding between the people of Idaho and Shanxi Province, Governor John Evans of Idaho and Vice Governor Bai Qingcai of Shanxi signed the Sister State agreement in 1985.

Like Idaho, Shanxi Province, located in northeast China, is known for its natural beauty. With a land size approximately seven times the size of Idaho, Shanxi Province has a population of 25 million. The capital is Taiyuan. Its climate is much like southwest Idaho’s, with cold winters and sunny, hot summers. It is also a major producer of coal, potatoes, and rice.

Yellow River Waterfall in Shanxi, China

Yellow River Waterfall in Shanxi, China
Photo courtesy of

The Sister State agreement between the State of Idaho and ChungCheongBuk-do Province was signed by Idaho Governor John Evans and ChungCheongBuk-do Governor Ro in 1986. In the spirit of Sister State relations, both sides expressed their readiness to cooperate in exchanges of business, sports, education, tourism and agriculture.

The province of ChungCheongBuk-do is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Seoul and has a population of 1.4 million. Like Idaho, the province has many mountains, lakes and streams. Its economy is primarily agricultural.

Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex in Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do

Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex
Photo courtesy of

Province, Republic of China

In May 1983, Idaho Governor Evans and Governor Chiu Chuang-huan of Taiwan formally established the Sister State agreement between Idaho and Taiwan Province. (Taiwan Province is the major province in Taiwan, comprising a majority of the island and the population.) Taiwan is located in the western Pacific, approximately 90 miles off the southeast coast of mainland China. It is made up of 70 small islands. Taiwan, whose capital is Taipei, has a population of approximately 20 million people. In recent decades, the economy has been one of the world’s most dynamic.

Taiwan is one of Idaho’s largest trading partners and purchases agricultural, lumber and mineral products. To assist Idaho companies interested in this market, the state maintains the Idaho-Asia Trade Office in Taipei.

Taipei National Theatre

Taipei National Theatre Photo courtesy of

Sister Cities

The Sister Cities program is administered by Sister Cities International, a non-profit organization. The objective of the program is to facilitate transnational partnerships, cultural exchanges, and economic cooperation. The following Idaho cities maintain Sister City relationships:

Gernika, Spain
Coeur d’ Alene:
Cranbrook, Canada
Idaho Falls:
Tokai-Mura, Japan
Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
Tegernsee, Germany
Villa Carlos Fonseca, Nicaragua
Iwamizawa, Japan
Kwaremenguel, Burkina Faso
Sun Valley:
Kitzbuehl, Austria
Yamanouchi, Japan

Sister Cities International