RYAN TRADE MISSION TO HELP OPEN ILLINOIS TO AFRICAN MARKETS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2000
SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
will lead an eight-day trade mission to the Republic of South Africa
to help Illinois businesses develop new trading relationships and business
agreements in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
The trade mission will depart Illinois on May 22 and return on May
29. During the trip, the delegation of business leaders, state officials
and staff, agricultural experts, representatives of the arts and Illinois
media will visit Johannesburg, Pretoria and historic Cape Town.
Ryan will officially open the new Illinois Trade Office in Johannesburg,
which will be administered by former state Rep. Monica Faith Stewart.
Ryan said the new trade office will help Illinois businesses gain a
solid foothold in South Africa, but also help establish ties in other
sub-Saharan nations on the continent.
"Africa is one of the fastest growing markets in the world economy
and the key to that market is South Africa. In the last three years,
South Africa's progressive government has expanded economic growth from
less than one percent in 1998 to almost 4 percent this year. South Africa
generates more than 45 percent of the entire continent's gross domestic
product," Ryan said.
"The time is right for Illinois to help our domestic businesses and
industries find their niche in South Africa. We have much to offer -
agricultural products, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals, computer and
communication technology and some of the best international financial
services available to help businesses grow."
The governor added that legislation pending in Congress, The Africa
Growth and Opportunity Act, will help United States companies in the
near future by solidifying and easing trade and investment policies
between the U.S. and African nations. The bill has passed the House
and is awaiting Senate action.
"This is the perfect time to expand our activities in South Africa
and on the whole continent," Ryan said. "I want Illinois to be a leader
in the world marketplace and we can't sit back and let other states
take the initiative."
In 1999, Illinois companies exported $272.5 million worth of goods
to South Africa, led by $137 million worth of industrial machinery and
computer hardware. Ryan said there is room to improve these export totals,
especially in the areas of agricultural products and food, electronics
In addition to the business "matchmaking" sessions and conferences,
the delegates will attend and participate in a number of cultural events
that will introduce the people of Illinois and South Africa to each
other's art, music and dance. Several members of Chicago's renowned
Hubbard Street Dance Company will stage special performances during
State of Illinois Trade Mission to
the Republic of South Africa
from Chicago to Atlanta for a connecting South African Airways flight
in Johannesburg; tour of the City of Soweto; address by Governor
Ryan to the students and faculty of Vista University.
opening of the State of Illinois Trade Office; delegation business
meetings in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
meetings in Johannesburg; agriculture tour of Gili Farm; Hubbard
Street Company dance workshop and performances; address by Governor
Ryan to the students and faculty at RAU University; theater performance
of "African Footprint."
to Cape Town; tour of the Houses of Parliament and presentation
by legislative leaders; business meetings in Cape Town.
Stormont Mondubela Elementary School to donate school supplies,
tour of historic Cape Point and Table Mountain.
Robben Island and the former prison cell of former South African
President Nelson Mandela; Travel from Cape Town to Atlanta.
in Atlanta for a connecting flight to Chicago.
State of Illinois Trade Mission to
the Republic of South Africa
Governor George H. Ryan and
First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
George H. Ryan
Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
Democratic Leader Emil Jones, Jr.
State Sen. James Clayborne, Jr.
State Rep. Suzanne Bassi
State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson
Rep. Monique Davis
State Rep. Eileen Lyons
State Rep. Andrea Moore
Rep. Coy Pugh
State Rep. Dan Rutherford
State Rep. Arthur Turner
Charles Box, Mayor of Rockford
Deborah Powell, Mayor of East St. Louis
Delegation and Guests
Atkinson, Kraft Foods
Dr. Vincent Bakeman, HRDI
Gregg Baker, USAID Midwest Outreach Office
Mark Barmak, Abbot Laboratories
Stuart Berkson, McDermott, Will & Emery
Jordan, Chicago State University
Mary Joyce, U.S. Export Assistance Center
Clifton Kyle, IBM
Jeffrey Ladd, Bell, Boyd & Lloyd
Dr. Rudy Lombard
Jeremy Margolis, Altheimer & Gray
Carol McDermott, The Scashi Company
Lester H. McKeever, Jr., Washington, Pittman, McKeever, LLC
Lamell McNorris, LJM Enterprises, LLC
Chris Melvin, Melvin Securities
David Moore, Quality Croutons, Inc.
Stephen Lee Philips, Robinson Bus Service
Ladd Pircon, Benetech, Inc.
James Reynolds, Loop Capital Markets
Jack Robertson, Jack Robertson & Company
Francis Russell, IBM
Mary Ann Ryder, Ferris Manufacturing Corporation
Courtney Shea, Solomon Smith Barney, Inc.
Dr. W. David Shoup, Southern Illinois University College of Agriculture
Dr. Carol Diane Surles, Eastern Illinois University
Charlie Thompson, MCM Food Products
Dr. Wayne Watson, City Colleges of Chicago
Jonathan M. Wilson, Baker & McKenzie
Street Dance Company
of Illinois Staff
Renee Baker, Department of Human Services
Susan Cavanaugh, Office of the First Lady
John Glazier, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
Edward Hamb, Office of the Governor
Joseph Hampton, Department of Agriculture
Joseph Hannon, Illinois Trade Office
Brent Hanson, Central Management Services
John Hermanek, Illinois Trade Office
James Jacobsohn, Office of the Governor
Gertrude Jordan, Department of Employment Securities
Penny Kendall, Office of the Governor
Dr. John Lumpkin, Department of Public Health
Pam McDonough, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
Peggy Montes, Illinois Arts Council
Laurence Msall, Office of the Governor
Robert Newtson, Office of the Governor
Jacqueline Price, Office of the Governor
Brian Reardon, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
Charlie Reed, Illinois Trade Office
Phyllis Scott, Office of the Governor
Margo Theodore, Illinois Trade Office
Dave Urbanek, Office of the Governor
Michael Williams, Department of Agriculture