WBC Committed to Strengthening Economic Ties in China
World Business Chicago’s President and CEO, Andrea Zopp, along with the global strategic initiatives team went on an economic development mission to China, July 15 – 23. The intent of this mission was to continue to strengthen our economic ties with China through the implementation of the Gateway Cities Agreement and to promote the upcoming Chinese General Chamber of Commerce – Chicago Chapter annual meeting taking place this fall in Chicago. World Business Chicago’s work has brought record-breaking Chinese investment into Chicago each year since the city signed the Gateway Cities Agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in 2013. The Agreement links Chicago with eight of the largest Chinese cities as gateways for investment into the respective countries.
During the mission, Andrea and the team met with government officials and companies in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Beijing, and Chengdu to further strengthen the economic bonds between Chicago and each city. Throughout the mission the delegation engaged with over 150 companies through investment forums and individual meetings. Some companies meetings included Wanxiang Group and CRRC, that recently opened a final assembly facility in Hegewisch, which will build the next generation of CTA rail cars and will employ over 170 people. Some government meetings included the vice mayors of Shanghai and Hangzhou, leadership of the Chinese Investment Promotion Agency, and leadership of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The mission comes on the heels of Hainan Airlines, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, and WBC announcing that Hainan will begin direct service between Chicago and Chengdu in September of this year. This flight will increase Chicago’s connectivity to China, with existing routes to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce – Chicago Chapter’s annual meeting will take place in early fall and will be co-hosted by WBC. This marks the fourth consecutive year that WBC will be a co-host of the meeting, which brings together Chinese and US companies to discuss the current US-China economic relationship and promote the city and broader Midwest as a destination for Chinese investment. If companies have an interest in joining the annual meeting, please reach out to WBC.