CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In conjunction with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit, Chicago area companies will come together with more than 300 Chinese executives to participate in the first ever U.S.-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum at the Hilton Chicago today. The forum, organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, builds upon the strong relationship that the Chicago area has with China.
A growing number of Chinese companies are choosing Chicago as the best location to establish a strong presence in North America. The Chicago area is home to 30+ mainland Chinese-owned companies including Goldwind, Wanxiang, Huawei Technologies, BYD and Xinhua. In addition, more than 300 Chicago-area companies have locations in China, including Motorola, Boeing, A.T. Kearney and Wrigley.
“We are pleased that President Hu has chosen to visit Chicago, and look forward to hosting Minster Chen and Secretary Locke, and a powerful cross section of executives and government leaders from both sides of the Pacific at the forum,” said Marshall M. Bouton, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “The discussions and agreements coming out of this forum will help build lasting partnerships between Chicago and China.”
According to The Chicago Council’s 2010 public opinion study, a strong majority of Americans prefer to undertake friendly cooperation and engagement with China. The survey findings also show that Americans believe that China is the second most influential country in the world after the United States, and that China is the most important country to the United States.
“By continuously reaching out to Chinese business and government leaders both here, and abroad we have forged strong relationships,” said Rita Athas, President of World Business Chicago. “We welcome these leaders to Chicago, so they can see for themselves that Chicago is open for business with China. We look forward to working with them.”
During the forum, up to 60 U.S. and Chinese companies will sign contracts highlighting new business agreements (see company list). Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Chinese Vice Minister Wang Chao will speak to the attendees about the strong business ties between the two nations. The forum will focus on industries including energy, automotive, electrical equipment, construction, real estate, banking, food, textile and pharmaceutical. Business and government leaders from both nations will speak about the importance of the strategic bilateral relationship.
Chicago has built up a strong relationship with China, sharing a Sister City relationship with Shanghai and Shenyang. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs organized Mayor Daley’s first trip to China in 2004. Chicago is also home to a Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China and the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters. The city’s business and government leaders have reached out on trade and investment missions, including Chicago’s sponsorship of the USA Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. In addition, Chicago’s only foreign business office, the Chicago-China Economic Development Center (CCEDC) is located in China.
Chicago is also home to the Confucius Institute, and the city’s public school system has more than 12,000 students learning Chinese – the largest public school program in the U.S. More than 6,800 mainland Chinese students attend Illinois Universities.
President Hu’s delegation chose to visit Chicago – the only U.S. city the delegation, in its entirety, traveled to besides Washington D.C. – due in large part to Mayor Daley’s strong support for business and trade with China, and the city’s many cultural and business connections.
World Business Chicago World Business Chicago (WBC) is the city’s public-private economic development office, coordinating business retention, attraction and expansion efforts in order to spur and accelerate economic growth. Chaired by Mayor Richard M. Daley, WBC strives to raise Chicago’s position as a premier global business destination. For more information, visit www.worldbusinesschicago.com.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs Founded in 1922, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is one of the oldest and most prominent international affairs organizations in the United States. Independent and nonpartisan, The Chicago Council is committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning. For more information, visit www.thchciagocouncil.org