(Chicago, IL) — September 15, 2011. Coming on the heels of an excursion to China by Illinois Treasurer and 2014 GOP governor hopeful Dan Rutherford, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that he too will travel to the People’s Republic of China on a trade mission, starting tomorrow.
The Governor will arrive in China on September 17 for an eight-day trade mission.
“Illinois’ relationship with China and with Chinese businesses is an extremely important part of not only helping our economy grow but also making sure Illinois continues to be a strong competitor in today’s global marketplace,” Quinn said.
For his first visit to China, Quinn will lead a delegation made that includes businessmen, educators, as well as state and local government officials. The group will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Quinn will witness the signing of new export contracts in the agriculture and telecom industries worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Governor will also meet with Chinese officials.
While in Shanghai, the Governor will serve as the keynote speaker at a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China. Nearly 30 Chinese companies have already invested in Illinois, including automotive parts and solar panel producer Wanxiang Group and Shenhua International, China’s largest coal producer.
Quinn will also ink memorandums of understanding with the Chinese in fields such as biotechnology, clean energy and education. He will also sign a sister river agreement to promote pollution control and clean water technology.
Illinois currently leads the Midwest in exports and foreign direct investments in China, exporting nearly $50 billion. The Communist nation is the state’s third largest export destination. Last year alone exports to China totaled $3.14 billion, with the top products exported ranging from machinery, electronics and appliances to chemicals, plastics and agricultural products.
Overseas visitation from China to Illinois is showing strong growth, up from Illinois being the sixth top overseas market in 2009 to fourth in 2010. Illinois hosted 97,000 visitors from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong in 2010.
The state of Illinois opened its Hong Kong office in 1983 and later established an office in Shanghai in 2000.
Rutherford was in Effingham, Illinois yesterday.