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Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveils economic growth plan

The report, called "A Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs," was developed by World Business Chicago, the city's nonprofit economic development agency, and is viewed as the first step in a continuing process to tune up the area's economic engine, its authors said. Emanuel is chairman of the agency.

"I'm hopeful ... the OECD will bring us a little furthermore down the road," Preckwinkle said. That study will be incorporated into the city's work, according to Michael Sacks, vice chairman of World Business Chicago.

•Accelerate growth in advanced manufacturing. As an illustration of possibilities, the report points toGermany'sFraunhofer Institutes, a system of 60 innovation centers that provide technology, incubation, consulting and networking services to speed up research.

Center for business services

•Increase attractiveness as a center for business services and headquarters. The study suggests augmenting the city's strength in such business services as insurance, scientific innovation, law and finance with service firms that focus on technologies just as cloud computing or energy-efficient building management.

•Make Chicago a leading exporter. Chicago ranks third in exports nationally however lags many peer cities in the proportion of its goods exported. The study suggests assisting smaller businesses, given their meager presence in the export market.

•Foster research and entrepreneurship. The study cites San Diego as a city that has succeeded in attracting investment by setting up strong networks among entrepreneurs, technology institutions and academia.

•Nurture neighborhood development. Efforts should focus on supporting businesses owned by minorities, women and disabled individuals.

Civic environment in which business can flourish

•Create a civic environment in which business can flourish. More must be done to streamline permitting and licensing and to reduce the uncertainty about taxation triggered by fiscal crises in government.

More information: Wgntv