Schaumburg Business Association’s International Impact – 2019 Overview
It has been an incredible year for economic development and foreign direct investment by the SBA, from Schaumburg to the world! As we wrap up 2019 and enter a new decade of economy, we do so with the momentum gained from many strides forward on behalf of our members and our community.
International Issues—Local Impact
At no point in the history of the Association has the value of our organization’s Economic Development pillar been more vital. While the economy continues to thrive in the United States, uncertainty is growing among our traditional trade partners and allies. This uncertainty is shifting the ways in which government and corporate leaders collaborate for mutual benefit.
The newly-established USMCA, ongoing trade negotiations with China, and new iterations of Middle East tensions are just a few examples of the factors involved with the international economy going into 2020. Locally, many businesses rely upon stable relationships and predictable means of conducting business internationally, and we are affected by these issues as well as other ones that don’t make as many headlines.
The SBA’s Economic Development Efforts in 2020 and Beyond
Going into the next decade invigorated by the fruits of our previous efforts, we will be providing, on a regular basis, a wealth of news and information about the work we’re doing in service to our Association’s commitment to Economic Development. We will provide:
Timely news on the specific outreach events we are attending, contributing to and leading;
Considered, informed opinions and guidance on issues affecting local Economic Development; and
Thought leadership regarding best practices for local businesses conducting business internationally.
The following is just a sampling of the work your SBA team has accomplished in the last year.
Host Delegation for Chairman Katsunobu Kato
This spring, the SBA was asked by the Consulate General of Jap to the Midwest to be part of the team planning the visit of Chairman Kato, the head of the country’s majority political party and the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare among other positions within the national government. Sodick, Inc. hosted the Chairman and the delegation, providing an overview of their operations and facilitating a discussion about our countries’ shared challenges of workforce development, especially in manufacturing. This invitation came as a result of a relationship with the Consulate General, whose office in Chicago is in service of ten Midwestern states, and who has connected on several occasions with the Schaumburg Business Association since the summer of 2018. We will be sharing more information about the strategic alliance that is growing between Schaumburg and leaders of the Japanese government, why that is crucial to the performance of 100 Japanese-owned companies with U.S. headquarters operating in Schaumburg, and how this relationship will help businesses with established or prospective interests in Japan and the Pacific Rim.
World Leaders Forum featuring Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
This October, the eighth-annual World Leaders Forum moved from the Elgin-based Judson University for the first time, to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center to accommodate nearly 2000 attendees from across the nation. The keynote address by Ambassador Kennedy drew more than 600 attendees, for which the Schaumburg Business Association offered formal opening remarks. The event was recorded to be part of the Socrates in the City series, described as a forum for conversations about, “life, God, and other small topics.” The bipartisan yet congenial and thoughtful conversation that followed centered on values, political courage, and service. To have Schaumburg Business Association leaders be integrally involved and associated with this powerful event is a fortification of our influence on an international scale.
VIPs for the Visit of Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki to Chicago
The gravity of influence that Poles have had on Chicago area history cannot be overstated. That influence is just as vibrant today, with more than 1.5 million people of Polish heritage living in the area and thriving communities throughout the area keeping long-held cultural traditions alive. The visit of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in April is yet another example of the mutual affinity shared between our region and Poland. Spending only two days in the country, he attended the debut of “Poland: The Royal Tour”, a documentary featuring Morawiecki. Members of the SBA staff were invited to attend this event, the attendees of which were among the most influential corporate and political leaders in the region.
Delegation for Indian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Shringla
Soon after having assumed office in January of 2019, His Excellency Harsh Shringla scheduled visits to each of India’s five consulates in the United States. His road trip to promote bilateral ties between our countries included a detailed address to a business seminar at London House in Chicago in March. Members of the SBA staff were integral to the coordination of this event, where the Ambassador noted the shared commitment of the countries to the principles of democracy, ever-increasing trade, and the inter-reliance of the countries with regard to education and workforce development.
Host Organization for New Chinese Consul-General to the Midwest, the Honorable Zhao Jian
The Honorable Zhao Jian was appointed Consul-General to the Midwest United States this March, having previously served for three years in a similar role in Melbourne, Australia. This year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. As the two countries continue working toward a relationship based on coordination, cooperation, and stability, the direct connection with the Consul-General will help local businesses understand the impacts of agreements made at the federal level. The Schaumburg Business Association will continually update its membership with news on this front as developments unfold.
Hosts to President of KOSME—Korea SMEs & Startup Agency
The Korea SMEs & Startups Agency (KOSME) is a non-profit, government-funded organization established to implement government policies and programs for the sound growth and development of Korean-founded small and medium venture enterprises. The organization’s President, Lee Sangjik, and members of the Schaumburg Business Association met recently and began discussions of a formal partnership to connect supply chain, customer, and workforce resources between South Korea and Schaumburg.
“Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” Forum
In October, Schaumburg’s Roosevelt University played host to a Special program sponsored by the Schaumburg Business Association in partnership with the Consulate General of Japan. The Japanese delegation was led by Dr. Tomohiko Taniguchi, a professor at the Keio University Graduate School of System Design and Management and a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet. The purpose of the program was to meet with citizens and business leaders to share perspectives on the relationship between Illinois and Japan. The insightful discussion ranged from geopolitical relationships between US-Japan-China, the future economic ties between our two countries and Japan’s innovative approaches to developing zero waste communities.
Polish Investment & Trade Agency Partnership
As an outcome from the SBA coordinated visit this spring and the networking that started while planning the coordination of the event, eight site visits were conducted with Schaumburg Polish companies interested in opening North American headquarters as part of their operations.
During our attendance at the International Fabricated Metal Technologies industry’s largest trade show, our team made contact with several companies who are now interested in building facilities in Schaumburg. Eight of these companies are headquartered outside of the United States.
This is exactly the kind of momentum we want to capitalize upon as we continue increasing our Economic Development efforts in the next year. We look forward to reporting our successes and broadening our reach, from Schaumburg to the world.
Thank you to Noon Key Productions for assisting in the creation of this International Impact Overview. Noon Key Productions is a valued member of the SBA and a full service marketing and communications firm. Helping you create Meaningful, Memorable and Motivational messaging.