Recognizing the importance of International Public Relations, the City of Gainesville has participated in the Sister Cities organization for more than 20 years.
The City of Gainesville has two official "sister city" relationships. In the early 80's Gainesville became Sister Cities with Ohito, Japan, which later became Izunokuni, Japan. In 1997 Gainesville and Eger, Hungary created the same alliance with the assistance of ZF Industries. ZF operates a plant in both cities and has been instrumental in helping to maintain the Sister City alliance. In addition, local leaders from Gainesville, Ohito, and Eger have experienced exchange trips which have resulted in a better understanding of all cultures.
In April 1998, the Sister Cities were joined by art during the first annual "Sister City Art Show." The show featured art from students in Eger, Ohito, and Gainesville. The art is displayed in Gainesville. After the show, art from Gainesville City Schools is sent to Japan and Hungary. The Sister City Art Show is held each April during Georgia Cities Week.
In the spring of 2010, Gainesville partnered with a Sister City a little closer to home, LaGrange, Georgia. Leaders from both cities have been visiting back and forth and sharing information on downtown revitalization, the economic impact of recreational lakes, and intergovernmental relationships and alliances.