CHICAGO – Gov. Bruce Rauner welcomed a trade delegation from Krakow and the Malopolska region and highlighted the strength of the relationship between Poland and Illinois at a Polish Chamber of Commerce luncheon today.
Illinois is home to the second largest Polish population in the country and boasts four sister city partnerships. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois ranks sixth among U.S. states for exports to and imports from Poland.
“Poland is a longstanding and valued partner to Illinois, and Polish Americans have had a wonderful impact on the economy and culture of our state,” Rauner said. “Illinois and Poland are linked in many important ways, including a strong trade relationship and a successful National Guard partnership.”
Established in 1993, the National Guard partnership between Poland and Illinois is a collaboration focused on military training and readiness that has benefitted both parties.
“This was an excellent opportunity to support the dialogue between Poland and the state of Illinois,” Polish American Chamber of Commerce President Stanley Skoczen said. “The Malopolska region is a great example of an emerging modern economy, and this trade mission is a good opportunity for Chicago and Krakow to create a new platform for cooperation.”
Members of the 30-person Polish trade mission from the Krakow and the Malopolska region included representatives of the city of Krakow, the marshal of the Malopolska region, and the CEOs of Krakow Airport and LOT Polish Airlines.
The mission is focused on promoting the re-established direct Krakow-Chicago LOT Polish Airlines air route amongst entrepreneurs, and strengthening commercial relationships between Illinois and both Krakow and Malopolska.