CHICAGO - Former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama and U.S. Commerce Secretary under President Clinton, Bill Daley, and World Business Chicago (WBC) Vice Chairman Michael Sacks are departing Sunday for a business mission in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. The Chicago group will meet with business and government leaders in each location, seeking to bring investment and jobs to Chicago and solidifying the city’s strong ties with China.
Daley will serve as a business ambassador in China due in part to his unique connections with the nation. As U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Daley was instrumental in the passage of legislation supporting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, and he worked to help China gain membership in the World Trade Organization.
The trip comes four months after he addressed a high-level Chinese delegation during a Chicago visit hosted by WBC. During the trip to China’s three leading business centers, Daley and Sacks will meet with top executives from several of the companies in that delegation, including companies actively considering investment in the Chicago region.
“Bill significantly enhances the quality of this trip,” said Sacks. “Our efforts will raise further awareness of Chicago as a leading global business destination and help recruit investment.”
”Missions such as this one are essential as we continue to position Chicago and the region as a premier location for global companies seeking to establish North American headquarters,” said Daley. “I’m happy to be helping WBC with establishing a greater presence for Chicago in China.”
On the trip to China, Daley and Sacks will meet with more than 30 senior level executives. They will also meet with several Chinese government leaders, including the Mayor of Beijing, the Minister of Commerce, and the Foreign Minister. In addition, they will meet with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke.
The trip will culminate in Chicago’s Sister City of Shanghai, where the group will join forces with Don Welsh of ChooseChicago, the city’s tourism agency, on the occasion of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concert in Shanghai. There, WBC and ChooseChicago will co-host a reception for business executives, travel tour operators, and alumni of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
The Chicago area is home to more than 40 mainland Chinese-owned companies, and there are more than 150 Chicago-area companies with locations in mainland China. China is the Chicago area’s largest global trade partner with $41.8 billion in imports and $4.1 billion in exports in 2011 according to the Chicago Customs District. In addition to Shanghai, Chicago shares a Sister Cities relationship the city of Shenyang.
World Business Chicago (WBC) leads Chicago’s business retention, attraction and expansion efforts and raises the city’s position as a premier global business destination. Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, WBC fosters private sector growth through the advancement of a business-friendly environment that attracts world class talent.