Trip to Moscow with the CSO

Ricardo Muti and Michael McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia

Moscow Green Building Forum

Aleksandra Efimova with Rashid Ismailov and Sam Scott

I just returned from an amazing trip where I had the privilege of both traveling with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to their first visit to Russia since 1990, as well as promoting Chicago to Russian businesses.

I was part of a delegation of seven people from World Business Chicago and Chicago Sister Cities International who accompanied conductor Riccardo Muti and 180 orchestra members on this historic cultural exchange.

By partnering with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, our delegation’s goal was to promote Chicago as a desirable location for Russian businesses and strengthen Chicago’s ties with Moscow.

When we arrived in Moscow on April 14, my delegation and I started by meeting with representatives from environmentally friendly construction companies and other private businesses to tell them about the upcoming Green Building Business Forum, which I am organizing with the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, taking place June 13-14 in Chicago.

Chicago is world-renown for its commitment to green building, and we are excited to share our knowledge and expertise with Russian companies who are also looking for ways to save energy costs and help the environment.

Later that night, Michael McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, welcomed us to a reception at his house where a small quartet from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed for the guests.

Over the next few days, we met with several Russian companies that are interested in opening offices in the United States, championing Chicago as an ideal location investing because it’s dynamic, cosmopolitan and forward-thinking.

We also met with American companies who have Russian divisions, including General Motors and Nike, at a reception held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, which promotes collaboration between both countries.

We concluded our groundbreaking trip by hosting a dinner and presentation on Chicago’s business advantages to Moscow business leaders, including 50 green building companies, at the residence of the John McCaslin, the U.S. Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, followed by an outstanding performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Moscow Conservatory.

I am so proud of what were able to accomplish during this trip, and I hope we planted the seed for new business growth in Chicago and Russia in the years to come.