Press Release
September 19, 2012

Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Ford Strengthen Sister City Agreement

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Today Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto and Mayor Rahm Emanuel renewed and strengthened Toronto and Chicago's sister city agreement at an official signing ceremony at the Conrad Hotel in Chicago. Selected text from this agreement states:

"The City of Chicago and the City of Toronto, on the basis of mutual cooperation, equality and benefit, will expand and strengthen the sister city relationship established in 1991 to a more business-oriented partnership between the two cities and between the business community in both cities."

“I am committed to expanding opportunities for greater economic collaboration,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I look forward to continuing our work with Mayor Ford and the City of Toronto to further fostering regional efforts between our two cities.”

"The renewal of this agreement is great for our cities," said Mayor Rob Ford. "Today Mayor Emanuel and I launch a new chapter in the long history of cooperation between Toronto and Chicago.  Working together, as we move forward, can help ensure both cities prosper together."

This agreement signing between the two Mayors symbolically solidified and strengthened the cooperation, now and for the future, between the two cities. The signing came as part of the Team Toronto Business Mission to Chicago.

The agreement additionally states, "As two of the most livable cities in the world, the active partnership will play an important role in creating an environment that enables business to thrive by fostering business partnerships, linkages, and exchanges."

Sister cities since 1991, Chicago and Toronto have worked together to strengthen the standing of both cities within the region and global community. For over two decades, the relationship has benefited by various exchanges in the areas of arts and culture, education, technology and economic development. This year Chicago has sent a delegation of technology experts to the E2 Chicago-Toronto Entrepreneur Exchange; and is currently working on an economic impact study on the flow of trade between Chicago and Toronto.

“Toronto and Chicago share a long, fruitful history of international exchange, highlighted by our vital Sister City relationship, signed in 1991,” said Leroy Allala, Executive Director of Chicago Sister Cities International. “I am pleased that our two cities have such strong ties and frequent collaborations in cultural activities, educational exchanges and business development.”

Sister City agreements are a key component of the Toronto’s mission as well, primarily through the International Alliance Program, which fosters formal and informal relationships with international cities to strengthen economic, cultural and multicultural links internationally and to share best practices with other municipalities. Currently there are nine cities paired with Toronto in this program. Since 1998, the International Alliance program and its activities have generated 860 new jobs, $880,420 in annual municipal property taxes, and $57 million in annual GDP impact.

Mayor Ford’s goal for the Team Toronto Chicago Business Mission is to renew a partnership agreement between the two cities and to identify opportunities to grow investment, enhance the business climate and stimulate greater job growth. While in Chicago, Mayor Ford and the Toronto delegation will be the guest of World Business Chicago, where there will be a panel discussion on Cities and Economic Growth Clusters. Mayor Ford and the delegation will also tour Chicago’s waterfront and receive a tour of U.S. Cellular Field.

To read the full text of the new sister city agreement please visit: http://www.toronto.ca/newsroom/pdf/chicago-mission-declaration.pdf

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