Westchester and the Italian province of Bari are joining forces.
The county announced that County Executive Rob Astorino and Bari President Franceso Schittulli have signed an agreement to boost the economic, social and cultural ties between the two municipalities.
“Westchester and Bari have a lot in common,” Astorino said in a press release. “It makes sense to exchange ideas to solve our shared challenges and to promote each other’s successes.”
The agreement, called a Joint Declaration of Intended Programs, was facilitated by the Puglia Center of America, which is located in New Rochelle. The agreement establishes a shared commitment to develop common initiatives and projects aimed at promoting comparable interests in the fields of culture, art, tourism, ecology, youth, trade and commerce.
Bari has 1.5 million people compared to Westchester’s 949,113. Eighteen percent of Westchester’s population is of Italian descent.
Astorino traveled to Bari in February to address the United Nations Academic Impact symposium on environmental sustainability held at the University of Bari Aldo Moro. The speech outlined the strategies the county is employing to balance the county’s commitment to protecting the environment with the need for economic growth.