Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed the Irish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, to Chicago. Mayor Emanuel met with Minister Sherlock to discuss Chicago’s continued efforts to foster industry in big data analytics and how the recently announced Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will work to make Chicago a center of excellence.
“I am pleased to welcome Minister Sherlock to Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Minister and I had a productive meeting centered on expanding upon our mutual strengths and building opportunities for greater economic growth between both Ireland and Chicago. This long standing friendship and partnership will not only fuel bilateral economic development but adds to Chicago’s place as a center of the global economy.”
Minister Sherlock will serve as the official Irish representative to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and attend various St. Patrick’s Day festivities during his visit to Chicago. Since 1997, the City of Chicago has been sister cities with Galway, Ireland. Ireland has long been a strong trading partner with the State of Illinois, importing $814 million of Illinois goods in 2013 alone.
Seán Sherlock, T.D., was appointed as Minister of State with special responsibility for Research and Innovation at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills in March 2011. In July 2013, Minister Sherlock was given responsibility for leading Government action on the Social Enterprise sector. As Minister for Research and Innovation, Minister Sherlock has responsibility for a number of areas in the Department of Education and Skills, including policy on research & innovation in higher education and STEM development.
Today’s meeting with the Irish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation comes on the heels of recent trade-missions undertaken by Mayor Emanuel to Mexico and China aimed at boosting Chicago’s strength as a hub for global commerce. In December of 2013, Mayor Emanuel met with the Minister of Commerce from the People’s Republic of China, and the leadership of eight major Chinese cities to sign the historic Gateway Cities Agreement. In November of last year, Mayor Emanuel visited Mexico City where he signed the Global Cities Economic Partnership with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, an agreement with a strong focus on seeking to develop global trade and investment strategies for business leaders interested in the Chicago marketplace.
Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Emanuel has committed to improving Chicago’s international relationships, meeting with dignitaries from Britain, Germany, Mexico, India, China and Poland among many other nations.
Photo by Patrick Pyszka, City of Chicago