Home > About Us > Chicago

The City of Chicago

Located in the Midwest of America, Chicago is a city in Illinois with Lake Michigan on the east. It is at the centre of 14-county area and the biggest metropolitan city in the Centre of America. As one of the largest economic entities in the world, Chicago has rich human resources. Currently the Metropolitan Area of Chicago has a population of 9.6 million, an increase of 4% from 2000. It also has 4.5 million employees with its GRP over $561 billion.
Mayor Emanuel has engaged in making Chicago as an American city most suitable for business and most friendly to China.
The business reputation of Chicago in recent years includes: the largest number of newly-built and expanding enterprises in the world; TOP 10 cities with most opportunities; TOP 10 business hot spots; the 4th most powerful economic city in the world; the 2nd most powerful international city in America; the 1st and 6th city attracting most foreign significant and direct investment in America and world respectively.
The increase in the number of city dwellers in the vibrant CBD of Chicago from 2000 to 2010 was higher than any other city in America. The newly increasing rate of the employed was higher than whole America in 2014. In 2014, there was an unprecedented proportion in the leasing rate of business buildings.
Chicago is the most diversified economic entity in America. Its industry structure best fits with the whole America. The number of employees in any sector accounts for no more than 14% of the whole workforce.
Chicago’s GRP ranks the 5th among over 350 metropolitan cities in America. The major sectors include: business and professional service sector (796,888 employees, $88 billion GRP); financial sector (289,476 employees, $88 billion GRP); manufacturing sector(410,802 employees, $71 billion GRP); medical service sector (548,473 employees, $38 billion GRP); transportation and storage sector (196,061 employees, $21 billion GRP).
Chicago is home to headquarters of enterprises. It has over 400 headquarters of big companies, 36 headquarters of Fortune 500 enterprises and 16 Financial Times Global 500 enterprises.
Chicago boasts rich and quality educational resources and is reputed as the second largest “City of University” in America. Every year, over 150,000 degrees are awarded by nearly 150 colleges and universities in the area of Chicago. And there are 25,000 Bachelor degrees, 20,000 Master degrees and 4,000 PHD degrees in the city of Chicago. Two of the world’s leading business schools – Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business are located in Chicago. The city center of Chicago is reputed as the “biggest University Town” in Illinois with over 65,000 students.
Meanwhile, Chicago is a vibrant innovative center. 143 science & technology companies obtain financial investment. 1871 is rated as one of the Global 5 business incubators. Last year, it applied and obtained over 1,700 patents in Chicago. There are over 300 enterprise R&D centers. 96 Nobel Prize winners are born in Chicago. The annual R&D fund of higher institutions in the area of Chicago amounts to $1.9 billion. Some of the successful emerging companies include: Careerbuilder, Groupon, GrubHub, Morningstar, Orbitz and so on. In 2015, the emerging companies in Chicago obtained $1.7 billion venture capital, which hit a historic peak. In 2015, the cost of merger & acquisition and listing reached $8.2 billion including HERE, Coyote, and Merge Healthcare.
Set up by Mayor Emanuel and World Business Chicago, ChicagoNEXT is a service organization providing companies related to science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship with favorable business environment and opportunities of development. Its major tasks include: attracting talents and capitals and bridging the gap between emergent and mature enterprises.
The business relationship between Chicago and China
In December, 2013, Chicago-China Gateway Cities Agreement (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu) was made. Chicago is the first and the only officially certified gateway city of American investment and tourism.
At present, there are 60 domestic enterprises landing in Chicago including Wanxiang, Goldwind, Bank of China, BYD, and Hainan Airlines. In 2014, Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobile from Google with $2.91 billion. Wanda Group invested $0.9 billion and shared 90% share in building a completely new hotel with 240 rooms in the luxurious district of the city center in 2014. Cinda Asset Management invested $50 million in acquiring the $0.3 billion office building on 311 S. Wacker in 2014. American Airlines and United Airlines provide flights straight to Beijing or Shanghai every day. Hainan Airlines also provides flights straight to Beijing. There are over 160 Chicago enterprises doing business in the Mainland of China with trade amount of $34.1 billion. O"Hare International Airport is an airline gateway to Sino-US trade. World Business Chicago has office in Shanghai. Chicago Travel Agency has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
The educational relationship between Chicago and China
There are 13,100 Chinese students studying in higher educational institutions in Illinois. The University of Chicago has center in Beijing. In 2014, Northwestern University and Peking University cooperated to set up EMBA joint degree. Chicago Public School has set up the biggest Chinese courses in America, covering 12,000 students. In 2006, Chicago Confucius Institute was set up in Walter Payton College Preparatory School.
Tourism breaks the record and develops
2014 is the year when tourism in Chicago broke the record with 50.2 million tourists, an increase of 3.5% from the same period in 2013. Among them, there were 509,000 overseas business tourists. Mayor Emanuel sets the 2020’s goal from 50 million tourists to 55 million tourists. There was America’s biggest international tourism activity in Chicago in April, 2014: IPW. At present, Chicago is the city with the second highest attendance of business meetings in America. In February, 2014, the official Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) events were held in Chicago, which was the first one in America. On January, 2014, Mayor Emanuel launched new cultural and tourism strategy.
Nowadays, Chicago’s plan economic growth and employment strategy consists of ten reforms.
1. To strive to be an advanced center of manufacturing
2. To attract the headquarters and leading enterprises of business service sector
3. To enhance competition as a hub of American transportation
4. To make Chicago as the first choice of travel and entertainment
5. To expand the export base of Chicago
6. To promote the development of workforce to meet the needs of companies
7. To support entrepreneurship and innovation in those emerging and mature industries
8. To invest in next generation of infrastructure construction
9. To develop and allocate community asset to comply with regional economic development
10. To create a business environment where enterprises thrive.



Chinese Member Cities
City of Chicago
Chinese Secretariat
US Secretariat

Operated by Investment Promotion Agency of MOFCOM
Tel:  (86-10) 64404554       Fax: (86-10) 64515317       E-mail:
Copyright by Invest in China       ICP Record No.: Beijing ICP 06041048