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Sister City program participants from across the state will explore the business aspects and economics of international twin-city links as they gather here Saturday for the third annual New York State Sister Cities Conference.

Henry Ferguson, chairman of Transnational Business Development Corp. of Albany and author of several books and articles, will be the featured luncheon speaker in the atrium of the Erie Community College City Campus, catered by student cooks from the Clarkson Center Culinary Arts Institute.

Ferguson, former director of international programs for the state Education Department, will speak on "The Revolution That's Too Close to See," a discussion of global changes that challenge past values and judgments about international relations.

Lectures and workshops also will be part of the daylong program, headed by George Miecyak and Arlene McKibben. Taking part will be state delegates from 25 cities, currently paired with 44 overseas "twins."

Buffalo and Erie County have sister city or sister county agreements with several international communities, and efforts are now under way to add an Italian sister city to the list.

Buffalo is paired with seven cities: Dortmund, Germany; Tver, Russia; Kanazawa, Japan; Rzeszow, Poland; Lille, France; Kiryat Gor, Israel; and Gyor, Hungary. Erie County is "twinned" with County Limerick, Ireland.

Attending will be Kate Ross of the Sister City program's international office in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Mayor Masiello, County Executive Gorski and Mary Palko, Texas coordinator for the program. Workshops will focus on changes in Europe, networking, and the economic implications of sister city relationships.

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