World leaders say losing G8 won't hurt city

March 9, 2012 4:40:24 AM PST
Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell knows the cost of hosting a G8 summit.

She doubts the shift of the G8 from Chicago to Camp David will hurt Chicago's standing internationally.

Campbell was among the mayors and government representatives from around the world who were in Chicago Thursday for an economic forum.

Campbell and others weighed in on Chicago's loss of the G8 summit.

"I can tell you having had the G8 and the G20 in Canada at the same time and it's a pretty invasive kind of process and the security of costs was in the billions of dollars," Campbell said.

On Monday the White House announced that the G8 was moving to Camp David but the NATO summit will remain in Chicago in May.

"I'm not quite sure if I was a Chicagoan I would be heartbroken about it," Campbell said. "I think Chicago gets a lot of international meetings and I think the NATO meeting is still going to come."

That feeling is being echoed by other global leaders in town like Carolien Geherls, the deputy mayor of Amsterdam

"You have the NATO conference, that's also a big thing and Chicago is already on the world map so don't be too worried," Gehrels said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his first public comment about the G8's move Wednesday, saying he's still looking forward to hosting the NATO summit. While Thursday's economic conference is nowhere near the magnitude of a G8 or NATO, the issues being talked about amongst guests, like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are still of worldwide importance.

"The real economic competition and competitiveness and growth will come from the top 50 plus cities or major metropolitan areas around the globe and how to do that in a sustainable way is going to be what we're gonna discuss today," Emanuel said.

"You've got a handful of people who are going to take a quick detour to Camp David but everyone else will be in Chicago," said Lori Healey, NATO summit host committee chair, in her first comments since the announcement.