Almost three decades ago Glasgow gained itself a twin – in the shape of Nuremberg in Germany.

The 1985 twinning pact, aimed at promoting cultural and commercial ties between the two cities, was to be the first of a further seven such arrangements.

Over the next two decades Glasgow's family would grow and today we are also linked with Rostov-on-Don in Russia, Dalian in China, Havana in Cuba, Turin in Italy, Lahore in Pakistan, Marseilles in France and Bethlehem in Palestine.

Across the Atlantic, Glasgow and Chicago are working towards becoming sister cities – the American term for twinning.

Last year they signed a memorandum of understanding which committed them to co-operation.

Glasgow Lord Provost Bob Winter said: "Twinning is such an important aspect of our activities as a forward thinking city.

"It promotes international friendships that bring educational, business and cultural benefits.

"It also increases understanding among international neighbours and enriches the lives of everyone involved.

"As Lord Provost I have the pleasure of representing Glasgow during twinning events and I am delighted to report that the people of our city are held in high regard for their commitment to twinning and for the hospitality shown to international visitors."

Nuremberg (since 1985)

The German city, which is believed to have been founded around the turn of the 11th century, is home to 500,000 residents and the centre of a prosperous region of 2.5 million people.

It is situated in one of Germany's top 10 economic regions and is the economic and commercial centre of Northern Bavaria.

Its main economic strengths are in communications and multimedia, traffic engineering and logistics, energy and environment, power, electronics and the service industry.

During the Second World War it was chosen by the Nazis to be the home of huge rallies and was the scene of the Nuremberg war trials.

Rostov-on-Don (1986)

The largest city in the south western part of the Russian Federation with a population of over a million people.

Rostov is the most industrialised city in the region. It is also the most important cultural centre of northern Caucasia with a large number of universities, colleges and museums.

The economy is helped by rich natural resources with 80% of the region's output related to fuel and energy.

Dalian (1997)

The largest port in northern China and a major destination for Chinese tourists.

Dalian has a diverse economy from agriculture to light industry and petrochemicals, is a major port for China's north-east province and a magnet for foreign investors.

Thriving ship building and chemical industries have been developed and the port has a wealth of handicraft factories.

Havana (2002)

Cuba's colourful capital is the largest city in the Caribbean.

Havana is also the centre of the national government and the base for various ministries and business headquarters

Tourism has replaced sugar as the most dynamic sector of the economy but emerging sectors have been created or transformed in biotechnology, medical equipment, iron, steel and mechanical industries.

The historic city, which with its provinces has 2.1m inhabitants, is now a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Turin (2003)

An ancient city which was Italy's first capital, it is a major business and cultural centre with a population of almost a million.

It has a rich culture and history and has some of Italy's best universities and colleges.

Football teams include Juventis and Torino, which was managed by Scotland star Graeme Souness.

Turin is an important base for Italy's car industry and is the base for Fiat and Lancia.

Lahore (2006)

With a population of 7.5m, Lahore is the capital of the Punjab and Pakistan's largest city.

It is recognised as the commercial, cultural and academic centre of the country and is the marketing centre for the surrounding fertile agricultural area.

The city is home to 20% of Pakistan's industrial producers, dominates the production and export of software in Pakistan and is the HQ of many newspaper groups and banks.

Marseilles (2006)

A major industrial port with a population of 840,000, it is the second largest city in France and a city of international trade.

The oil crisis of 1973 sparked an economic downturn and an increase in crime and poverty which the city has worked hard to combat.

In just 10 years, Marseilles – which will be European Capital of Culture in 2013 – has created a proper business sector, becoming a vital location for the audiovisual industry.

Bethlehem (2007)

The birthplace of Jesus, modern Bethlehem is an agricultural market and trade centre closely linked to nearby Jerusalem.

Shopping is a major sector but tourism is the city's main industry with over 25% of the working population employed either directly or indirectly in serving and supplying visitors.

Around 40,000 people live in the administrative limits of the municipality of Bethlehem and 5000 in the centre of the town.