Partnership Committed to Economic Collaboration Between Chicago and Paris

World Business Chicago President and CEO Andrea Zopp signed an economic memorandum of understanding between World Business Chicago and Paris&Co, Paris’ agency for economic development and innovation. The signing took place during the economic development mission to Paris and builds upon the two cities’ sister city agreement.

The agreement will coordinate foreign direct investment strategies between Chicago and Paris and encourage firms from each city to invest in each other. It will also encourage greater collaboration on growing our innovation and technology sectors. The agreement was signed by Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago, and Philippe Grangeon, President of Paris&Co, and witnessed by Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Hidalgo.

Previously, Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Hidalgo collaborated on the Urban Waterways Forum in Chicago in 2017 and the Chicago Climate Charter, signed at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago in 2017, where more than 50 international cities committed themselves to the tenants of the Paris Agreement.

“Chicago solidified its bond with Paris over 20 years ago when we signed a sister city agreement,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “This economic agreement takes our relationship to the next level, as we work together to build stronger economic ties for the benefit of both cities’ businesses and citizens.”

Chicago and Illinois have strong economic ties with Paris and France. There are 30 Paris-based companies in the Chicago area, with 24 in the city itself, and 49 Chicago-area companies have a presence in Paris. From 2016–2018, 17 Paris-based companies located and/or expanded in the Chicago metro area, most recently with Capgemini’s Chicago-expansion of a technology and development center with the addition of 500 jobs. Total trade between Illinois and France is $3.1 billion, with French companies supporting 26,200 jobs in Illinois in 2017.

Chicago and Paris also share in a number of cultural and education exchanges through their sister city relationship. Ongoing high school exchanges take place between Chicago Public Schools and its counterpart, l’Académie de Paris. The exchanges foster international understanding, cooperation, and friendship by creating common learning projects. Thousands of students in both cities have benefited from these exchanges.

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