Mayor Daley today announced the “Chicago-China Friendship Initiative” campaign with a theme of ” Chicago : The Heart of America.” The goal of this campaign is to raise the City’s profile as a center of international commerce and establish Chicago as the most “China-Friendly” city in the United States .
Mayor Daley will launch the initiative by traveling to China from March 18-30 to meet with Chinese government and business leaders in Beijing , Tianjin , Hangzhou , Chongqing and Hong Kong . He will be accompanied by a delegation of Chicago civic and business leaders. “We already have a very strong relationship with China, but the economic future of Chicago depends greatly on our success in seeking opportunities in China and around the globe,” Daley said at a news conference held at the offices of SOM, 224 S. Michigan Av. SOM is a Chicago architectural, engineering and design firm that has worked on more than 150 projects in more than 30 Chinese cities.
“We need to build on our previous successes and on President Hu Jintao’s recent visit here to further elevate Chicago ‘s image in China as both an ideal location for business and a matchless destination for leisure travelers,” he said. Daley said the great potential of a rising Chinese economy has generated considerable interest and activity by U.S. states and municipalities competing with Chicago. “There has never been a better time to expand the City’s connections with China . No other American city is so committed to a long-term strategy of friendship and cooperation with China as Chicago ,” he said. The campaign will include a combination of multi-media advertising and personal contact that builds on Chicago’s already strong ties with China. Daley said the symbol of the heart was chosen for the campaign for several reasons: the city’s central geographical location in the United States ; its historic and continuing role as the business, financial, transportation and cultural center of the Midwest ; its welcoming attitude toward business; its friendly people and collaborative spirit.
Daley will take with him two videos originally produced as part of the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics initiative and now re-packaged for ” Chicago : The Heart of America.” He will also take a 30-second television ad that will be used as part of the campaign and which highlights the aspects of Chicago that would have the most impact in China , including a thriving business community, a number of the world’s finest business schools and already strong cultural ties to China .
“It’s another one of the ways in which the legacy and hard work of our 2016 efforts continue to benefit the residents of Chicago ,” Daley said.