World Business Chicago (WBC) today announced plans to strengthen business ties with India by traveling along with the Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC) for a tour that is planned for January 2013.
“It is essential that we showcase everything that Chicago has to offer to the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By seeking to foster economic relationships in conjunction with our cultural outreach, we can maximize value for the city and show the world that Chicago is a textured, dynamic, world-class city.”
The partnership is a prime example of Mayor Emanuel’s charge for WBC to collaborate with Chicago’s esteemed cultural institutions to build upon existing opportunities and facilitate business connections, while expanding Chicago’s global footprint. The CCC performances will create enhanced awareness for Chicago and enable WBC to promote the city as a desirable location for Indian businesses, while strengthening ties with Delhi, a sister city to Chicago since 2001.
The effort aligns with WBC’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, which advocates for building on the region’s unique assets in order to forge ahead in the new global economy and ensure economic prosperity for the long term. The visit is also an example of the collaboration between WBC and Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) announced last year.
“This is a unique opportunity for World Business Chicago to build strong relationships that promote business investment in Chicago, while supporting Chicago’s global cultural presence,” said Rita Athas, president of World Business Chicago. “We look forward to utilizing this opportunity to meet companies interested in investing here, and to meeting with our counterparts in India to see how we can best collaborate for economic growth.”
WBC participated in a similar opportunity when it accompanied the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Moscow last April. The trip resulted in numerous new business and civic connections with leaders including Russia’s Green Building Council, more than 30 Russian business leaders and the U.S. Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, executives at a leading software development company, representatives from the American Chamber and key economic development officials at Moscow’s City Hall.
“I am honored to partner with World Business Chicago for our India Tour in January 2013,” says Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director of Chicago Children’s Choir. “Reflecting our city’s wealth of diversity, our singers are proud to be the ‘Voice of Chicago,’ serving as ambassadors of the arts, culture, and excellence — values that make Chicago great. Through performances and exchanges, tours are life-changing experiences, both for the singers of Chicago Children’s Choir and those they touch.”
CCC announced plans for the tour and concerts in the Indian cities of Jaipur, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai on Friday at the Eye on India Festival in Chicago, an event that provides a platform for cultural, artistic and educational exchange, collaboration and understanding between India and the US.
There are some 30 Indian-based companies in the Chicago area, in addition to thousands of ethnic Indian-owned companies. Chicago also has a significant presence in India, with more than 80 area companies operating there. The Chicago Customs District reported $825 million (up 20% in two years) in exports to India in 2011 (mainly medical instruments, machinery/computers and electronics) and $1.69 billion in imports (up 50% in two years and mainly in machinery/computers, pharmaceuticals, vehicle parts). Total trade between Chicago and India in 2011 was $2.51 billion.
Founded in 1956 Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC) is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, shaping the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence. The Choir currently serves 3,000 children, ages 8-18 through choirs in 51 schools, after-school programs in eight Chicago neighborhoods and the internationally acclaimed Concert Choir. Under President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, the Choir has undertaken many highly successful national and international tours, received a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for the 2008 documentary Songs on the Road to Freedom, and has been featured in nationally broadcast television and radio performances.
Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago drives regional economic growth. WBC collaborates to create jobs, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy. A unique public-private partnership, WBC engages business and community leaders to advance Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.