Chicago to Host First Ever Great Lakes Economic Forum

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Chicago to Host First Ever Great Lakes Economic ForumCHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Council of the Great Lakes Region are pleased to announce that Chicago will play host to the first Great Lakes Economic Forum, April 26-28, 2015. The event will engage over 300 leaders from business, government, academia, the non-profit communities and civil society in creating a transformational bi-national, economic program to strengthen the region’s competitiveness in an increasingly integrated North American and global economy.

“Chicago plays a vital role in the economic stability of the Great Lakes region, which itself is one of the primary economic drivers for the nation,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We are pleased that the City of Chicago will host the inaugural Great Lakes Economic Forum next April and look forward to engaging with our regional partners on issues such as job creation, education and business development that will impact Chicago’s and the Great Lakes region’s economies well into the future.”

The Forum’s theme, From Partnership Flows Prosperity, signifies that in today’s aggressively borderless climate of global business and trade, the two countries must seek ways to work together more effectively than ever—not only to maintain the strategic advantage of this shared economic powerhouse, but to capitalize on new and emerging opportunities in building the next economy in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region.

Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region adds, “The Council of the Great Lakes Region is committed to strengthening economic viability throughout the Great Lakes Region and understands that when our individual states, provinces and cities succeed, the entire region, which constitutes the fourth largest economy in the world, succeeds.

The Forum aims to provide an ideal venue for leaders from around the Great Lakes Region to share ideas and insights that will help shape economic policy, boost the region’s competitive edge and secure its long-term success. It will also facilitate a candid dialogue about the leadership necessary to develop a strong, unified bi-national voice on range of issues, from advanced manufacturing, infrastructure modernization and labor mobility to responsible resources development, border management and regulatory harmonization.

“Chicago is at the heart of the Great Lakes region and serves as a hub of local, regional and international business, making it the perfect backdrop to host the inaugural Great Lakes Economic Forum,” said Jeff Malehorn, president and chief executive officer of World Business Chicago. “Chicago continues to grow and be an innovator in industries like technology and manufacturing, and we want to help lead innovation initiatives that will drive success throughout the Great Lakes region.”  The ten major economies participating in the Great Lakes Economic Forum are: Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario and Quebec. Each year, the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region contributes roughly $232 billion (USD) to trade between the United States and Canada.

The Forum will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center with an opening reception planned at the Shedd Aquarium and a Great Lakes Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 27, 2015 at the Montgomery Club. To learn more about the Great Lakes Economic Forum, visit the event website at