Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley Visits Moscow, September 2-6, 2009
Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley led a delegation of business and government leaders to Moscow this week to promote increased commercial and cultural exchange between the two cities.
The trip, sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and World Business Chicago, builds on the sister cities relationship established between Chicago and Moscow in 1997.
Daley met with Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to sign an agreement that renews the ties between their cities. Daley commended Luzhkov on his continuing efforts to revitalize Moscow through more cultural exchanges, greening projects and outreach to business leaders worldwide.
“I have always maintained that the things that unite cities far outweighs any differences we might have,” Daley said Friday, during a presentation to a group of Russian business leaders.
“Urban centers are where the greatest concentrations of people will live in the 21st century. We must make cultural connections and expand our working relationships with many partners if we are to succeed in the global economy,” he said.
“I believe the business relationship between Chicago and Russia is strong, and we want it to grow stronger. ‘
Daley reminded meeting participants that the Chicago Customs District had $83 million in imports and $138 million in exports with Russia last year. He pointed out that 35 companies based in the Chicago area have operations in Russia, including McDonald’s, Motorola and several law firms. Chicago-based Boeing has a significant presence in Moscow, the site of one of its design centers worldwide.
Daley named public education, mass transit and water conservation and other environmental issues as some of the challenges facing urban areas around the world.
Daley also complimented Russia for its leadership in winning the bid for Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Chicago is the United States of America’s candidate city to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paraolympic Games. Daley said that if Chicago is successful in securing the games in the final round of competition in Copenhagen next month he looks forward to working with Russia to strengthen the Olympic Movement.
Mayor Daley interviewed by Vesti TV (in Russian)