Above: Honorary Global Ambassador for Houston and former Rockets basketball player Yao Ming joins the Houston delegation in Beijing eas where the city has unique exper- tise. Mayor Turner and/or the city’s business leaders signed a series of of- ficial memoranda of understanding expressing plans to widen commerce with the country. The delegation held meetings and business forums in Shanghai, Beijing and Houston’s sis- ter city, Shenzhen. South Africa Houston serves as the permanent sec- retariat of the World Energy Cities Partnership. While in South Africa for the rotating annual general meeting of the organization, Mayor Turner and a delegation from Houston met with officials of Cape Town, Tshwane, and Johannesburg. The meetings primar- ily focused on energy, aerospace and healthcare opportunities. Houston’s exports to South Africa include motor vehicles and parts, industrial machin- ery, chemical products, electrical ma- chinery, oil and refined products, plas- tic products, optic and photographic instruments and precious metals. Im- ports include organic chemicals, min- eral fuels, iron and steel, aluminum products, motor vehicles and parts and edible fruit and nuts. 26 iF Magazine | January 2019 Israel Mexico With plans in the works for Hous- ton’s new Innovation Corridor, May- or Turner led a delegation to Israel in June 2017 to meet with govern- ment and industry leaders to hear first-hand how Israel has become the country with the with most high- tech start-ups per capita. Leaders shared valuable insights in this area and provided leads for collaboration opportunities. While in Israel, Mayor Turner took the opportunity to visit the Palestinian territories and partici- pating delegates had the opportunity to hear from officials and business leaders there. In November 2016, Mayor Turner and the Greater Houston Partnership led a delegation of top Houston-area business representatives on a trade mission to Mexico City. More than 1,000 Houston companies report doing business with Mexico and Mexico is Houston’s number one in- ternational trading partner. The Houston delegation hosted two high-level business forums: one fo- cused on exchanging best practices and intellectual capital in the en- ergy industry featuring a keynote “I found the Mayor’s Trade Mission address by Roberta Jacobson, U.S. to Israel to be one of the most infor- ambassador to Mexico; and a medi- mative and useful visits in my pro- cal research forum led by Dr. Bobby fessional career,” said Lone Star Col- Robbins, then-president and CEO of lege System Chancellor Steven Head. the Texas Medical Center, to explore “While I had traveled to Israel previ- collaborative opportunities on ge- ously, this visit included four inten- nomic medicine and obesity-related sive days of meetings with business, diseases. Additionally, delegates met political and educational leaders that with various government officials in- provided an in depth understanding cluding Mexico City Mayor Miguel of opportunities and challenges in exchanges with the country of Is- Mancera. rael,” he added.