Mayor Emanuel, World Business Chicago (WBC), Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chicago and CSCI welcomed a group of nearly 50 business and government leaders from May 20–22 from Mexico City as part of the Global Cities Economic Partnership signed by Mayor Emanuel and Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera in November 2013. The delegation, led by the Secretary of Economic Development of Mexico City, used the visit to share economic development best practices and learn about the development and implementation of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.
“I am pleased to welcome such a diverse group of business and civic leaders to Chicago as we take this next step towards making Chicago the most attractive city in America for Mexican companies to do business,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By sharing best practices around job growth, business attraction and retention, and collaborating on new opportunities for trade and tourism, we will ensure that the ties between Chicago and Mexico City remain strong for decades to come.”
The Global Cities Economic Partnership is designed to foster trade, an exchange of ideas, and sharing of business best practices, while also helping to develop new global trade and investment strategies. During the visit, the group, including Secretary of Economic Development Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg, Vice Secretary of Economic Development Ricardo Becerra Laguna, Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco Marqués, business chambers representatives and industry executives from the pharma/bioscience, restaurant and digital start-up/restaurant sectors will meet with economic development and business leaders from across Chicago and learn about the role of World Business Chicago in implementing Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Programs have also been designed to highlight Chicago’s efforts to support job growth and innovation in the technology, bioscience and culinary sectors.
The group will hear about Chicago’s business development efforts from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch and World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Midwest Glenn Tilton, 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, and restaurateur Carlos Gaytan will speak with delegation members on business, technology and culinary efforts taking place across the region.
With more than 1.5 million residents of Mexican descent, Chicago is the fifth largest Mexican city in the world and the second largest in the United States. In 2013, total trade between Mexico and the Chicago region amounted to $18.9 billion. Currently, more than 120 Chicago and Chicago-area companies have a presence in Mexico including Baxter, Groupon, Hyatt, Illinois Tool Works, Ingredion, McDonald’s, Motorola Solutions, Underwriters Laboratories and United Continental. Mexican companies in Chicago include Amtex Chemical, Cemex, Bimbo Bakeries and Famsa.
“Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs calls for our region to position itself as the location of choice for global companies,” said World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn. “By bringing delegations such this one from Mexico City, we are strengthening our ties in order to make sure that Chicago is top of mind for global leaders making location decisions.”
The visit represents the first of its kind city-to-city agreement initiated as part of the Brookings and JPMorgan Chase’s Global Cities Economic Partnership program. Additional efforts will continue to focus on trade, innovation, and education to increase employment, expand advanced industries, and strengthen overall global competitiveness. Chicago and Mexico City have shared a sister cities relationship since 1991.
While in Chicago the Secretary of Tourism from Mexico City and Choose Chicago CEO Don Welsh signed the Global Cities Tourism Partnership MOU. The MOU’s goal is to promote tourism and develop strategic and cultural bridges to boost job growth and economic development. The groups will develop strategic marketing partnerships in order to strengthen each other’s rankings as top global travel destinations.
“We are honored to welcome the Mexican delegation and to expand upon the cultural ties between our great cities,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “Mexico remains a strong tourism market for Chicago. In 2012 alone, visitors from Mexico increased 41 percent, and we continue to work closely with our partners in Mexico City to build on the momentum and interest coming from the market. The signing of this MOU represents an incredible opportunity for Chicago and Mexico City to come together in elevating our cities as top business and leisure destinations.”
This delegation and MOU will serve as a template for how Chicago will continue to utilize its sister city relationships to accelerate growth and drive its position in the global economy.