Sunderland City Council logo

Click on logo to access council website

port of sunderland

International opportunities

Sunderland has been twinned with the European towns Essen in Germany and Saint-Nazaire in France since 1949 and 1953, respectively. A Friendship Agreement with Washington DC was signed in June 2006. The Friendship Agreement formulates the city’s unique historical link with Washington DC as George Washington’s ancestral home is located within Sunderland’s boundary. The City Council also has a number of International links developed through joint projects and is currently developing cooperation with China. The local authority also became a member of the EUROCITIES network in November 2007.

Together with partners across Sunderland, the City Council has developed an International Strategy which was endorsed in October 2008.

The cornerstone of Sunderland’s economy is built on investment and employment with businesses from the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan as well as throughout Europe and, over the past decade, Sunderland has attracted more inward investment jobs than any other location in North East England.

Companies within Sunderland are increasingly finding new markets in mainland Europe and throughout the world, and capitalising on opportunities which global connectivity and new technology offer to develop and expand their businesses.

The city has been recognised internationally by the Intelligent Communities Forum for a number of years culminating in a Lifetime Achievement Award as one of the seven most IT-intelligent Communities in the world, recognising the extent to which information technology has been used to regenerate the city’s economy.

For further information about international activity and business opportunities in Sunderland, contact the Business Investment Team.

Tel: +44 (0)191 561 1171 or email:  

Awards and accreditations


The Port of Sunderland is certified by Product Authentication International (PAI) as complying with the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC), in respect of storage and in-house testing of combinable crops and dry feed materials/ingredients.

ISO Logo

Investor in People

As a Sunderland City Council service the Port of Sunderland holds Investors in People status, achieved by the council in 2004.

Investors in People

British Ports Association

The port is a member of the British Ports Association