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BFFs Austin and Pune sign friendship agreement

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by Tai Moses

The city of Austin and the Austin-Pune Sister City Initiative celebrated the signing of a formal friendship agreement Monday at City Hall that puts the two municipalities on the path to becoming sister cities. The agreement, which took over a year to negotiate, was begun in 2017 by organizations in both Austin and Pune that identified cultural commonalities in each other’s cities as well as expansion opportunities in India for Austin-based businesses. Pune, which is three hours southeast of Mumbai, is home to India’s most educated population and shares many similarities with Austin, such as challenges with housing, transportation and water. The rapidly growing city is also a musical and high-tech hub. Delegations of Austinites and Puneites have already made several visits to each other’s cities and Austin Mayor Steve Adler has invited Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak to visit Austin to sign the Sister City agreement. Council Member Alison Alter, who visited Pune in September as part of the business delegation, said in a statement, “I am grateful I had the opportunity to be there at the start of what I think will be a long relationship. Pune shares Austin’s creativity, amazing energy, tech savvy, entrepreneurial spirit and concern for our environment. The potential connections span many industries, including health, film, fashion, gaming, and many more.”

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