By Dave Williams
International Trade Specialist
An article in the last issue of this newsletter discussed how Illinois firms are rediscovering Asian markets, and in November, several Illinois companies traveled to Asia to seek new business opportunities. From November 5 - 18, Quincy Mayor Charles W. Scholz led Quincy-area firms on a four-city trade mission to China.
The trade mission had three major objectives: to seek business opportunities in China, attract investment in Quincy from China, and stimulate educational, economic and cultural exchange. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong were the four major stops for the trade mission which included side trips to Badaling to see the Great Wall of China, to Jiaxing city for a Sister City signing ceremony and port tour, and to Kan Shun to visit Quincy Compressor's facility there.
At each stop, the Quincy companies, including Broadcast Electronics, Klingner & Associates, and Quincy University, had one-on-one appointments with government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, and potential business partners which were arranged by the State of Illinois offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Mayor and representatives from the Great River Economic Development Foundation (GREDF) and the Mid-America Port Commission also had matchmaking appointments scheduled with government officials, local economic development agencies, and potential investors. In Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, seminars on "Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Illinois" were presented with a specific focus on Quincy and the tri-state port area. Over 115 participants attended the three FDI seminars, and one company has already made plans to visit Quincy to possibly invest in a warehouse and distribution facility.
On Friday, November 12, Mayor Scholz of Quincy and Mayor Derong Chen of Jiaxing signed a Sister City Agreement (called a Friendship City by the Chinese). Jiaxing, China, a city of 790,000 people, is located about 100 km (62 miles) from Shanghai in the Yangtze River delta. The agreement will promote trade, investment, and cultural exchange between the cities. Jiaxing is Quincy's second sister city; the other is Herford, Germany.
Others attending the trade mission included Quincy Herald-Whig Business Editor Reg Ankrom, Charles Bell of GREDF, and Captain Mark McNally, Executive Director of the Mid-America Port Commission. Zhigang Ren of the Illinois Trade Office, Tess Morrison of the International Trade Center at the University of Illinois, and Dave Williams of the International Trade Center at Bradley University also participated in the trade mission.
The Illinois Trade Office has ten trade missions scheduled for the fiscal year 2005, with upcoming missions to Mexico, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, and South Africa. For more information, please contact the International Trade Center and NAFTA Opportunity Center at Bradley University at (309) 677-3075. To learn more about the Quincy trade mission, please see related articles by Reg Ankrom of the Quincy Herald-Whig posted on the GREDF website: www.gredf.org/news/news5.html.