Chicago’s robust international business resources include more than 80 Consulates/Consuls General and 100+ international/ethnic Chambers of Commerce and international trade-based organizations.
Chicago’s 28 international sister cities also help to strengthen and expand the city’s global partnerships.
Chicago-based companies have a strong presence abroad, with more than 8,000 locations in 170 countries and territories—and it is easier than ever to expand those networks with 1,400 daily departures from Chicago to more than 200 cities worldwide. In 2014, Chicago was ranked the 9th most visited city in the U.S. by international travelers with an estimated 1,378,000 visitors from overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico).
Total trade in Illinois has increased from $159.0 billion in 2010 to $207.9 billion in 2014. Global exports, led by vehicles, electric machinery, and mineral fuels/oil, totaled $68.2 billion, while imports totaled $139.7 billion.
Major trade partners include:
- Canada - $67.1 billion in total trade (2014)
- China (Mainland) - $34.2 billion
- Mexico - $21.2 billion
- Japan - $10.2 billion
- Germany - $8.2 billion
Competitive Real Estate
Chicago's office and industrial space costs are highly competitive, meaning reduced overhead and superior “urban value.” According to CBRE's Prime Office Occupancy Costs study (June 2014), Chicago’s total occupancy cost was $26-$50 USD/SF/yr—well below London ($154-$277), Hong Kong ($161-$242), Beijing ($187), Tokyo ($146), Paris ($124), New York ($83-$121), San Francisco ($68-$108), Boston ($44-$94), and Los Angeles ($76-$82). Colliers' review of global industrial rents (2013) reported similar results, with Chicago industrial rent at $4 USD/SF/yr considerably lower than other major cities including London ($22), Tokyo ($21), Paris ($15), San Francisco ($10), Los Angeles ($6), and Beijing ($6).
Information about Chicago’s business connections with various countries:
Businesses in the Chicago area benefit greatly from a sizable and concentrated pool of specialized services. Prominent companies in advertising, management consulting, finance, human resources, accounting, law and logistics all serve to promote businesses in Chicago and around the world. Whether your business operates on a local, national or global scale, everyone benefits.
Chicago has a significant number of international consulates, and trade & investment offices. In fact, with more than 80 Consulates & Consuls General, the city is one of the fastest-growing consular hubs in the nation. There are more than 90 international trade and investment organizations and over 40 international/ethnic Chambers of Commerce in addition to the Consulates. Read on…