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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2000

RYAN TRADE MISSION TO HELP OPEN ILLINOIS TO AFRICAN MARKETS

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 and pharmaceuticals.

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 the trip.

 

Tentative Itinerary
State of Illinois Trade Mission to
the Republic of South Africa

Monday, May 22 Travel from Chicago to Atlanta for a connecting South African Airways flight to Johannesburg.
Tuesday, May 23 Arrival in Johannesburg; tour of the City of Soweto; address by Governor Ryan to the students and faculty of Vista University.
Wednesday, May 24 Official opening of the State of Illinois Trade Office; delegation business meetings in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Thursday, May 25 Business 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."
Friday, May 26 Travel to Cape Town; tour of the Houses of Parliament and presentation by legislative leaders; business meetings in Cape Town.
Saturday, May 27 Tour Stormont Mondubela Elementary School to donate school supplies, tour of historic Cape Point and Table Mountain.
Sunday, May 28 Tour of Robben Island and the former prison cell of former South African President Nelson Mandela; Travel from Cape Town to Atlanta.
Monday, May 29 Arrival in Atlanta for a connecting flight to Chicago.

 

State of Illinois Trade Mission to
the Republic of South Africa

May, 2000

Governor George H. Ryan and
First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan

Delegation List

Elected Officials Governor George H. Ryan
First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
Senate Democratic Leader Emil Jones, Jr.
State Sen. James Clayborne, Jr.

State Rep. Suzanne Bassi

State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson
State Rep. Monique Davis
State Rep. Eileen Lyons

State Rep. Andrea Moore
State Rep. Coy Pugh
State Rep. Dan Rutherford

State Rep. Arthur Turner

Charles Box, Mayor of Rockford

Deborah Powell, Mayor of East St. Louis
Professional Delegation and Guests

James Atkinson, Kraft Foods
Dr. Vincent Bakeman, HRDI
Gregg Baker, USAID Midwest Outreach Office
Mark Barmak, Abbot Laboratories
Stuart Berkson, McDermott, Will & Emery

Arnold Jordan, Chicago State University
Mary Joyce, U.S. Export Assistance Center
Clifton Kyle, IBM
Jeffrey Ladd, Bell, Boyd & Lloyd
Kathleen Ladd
Dr. Rudy Lombard
Jeremy Margolis, Altheimer & Gray
Carol McDermott, The Scashi Company
Patrick McDermott
Lester H. McKeever, Jr., Washington, Pittman, McKeever, LLC
Nancy McKeever
Lamell McNorris, LJM Enterprises, LLC
Chris Melvin, Melvin Securities
David Moore, Quality Croutons, Inc.
Beatrice Moore
Stephen Lee Philips, Robinson Bus Service
Ladd Pircon, Benetech, Inc.
James Reynolds, Loop Capital Markets
Sandra Reynolds
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
Bernice Singleton
Walter Singleton
Dr. Carol Diane Surles, Eastern Illinois University
Charlie Thompson, MCM Food Products
Dr. Wayne Watson, City Colleges of Chicago
Jonathan M. Wilson, Baker & McKenzie

Hubbard Street Dance Company Julie Nakagawa Bottcher
Erin Derstine
Clover Robinson
Adam Hundt
Christopher Tierney
Emilie DeAngelis
Whitney Moncrief
Illinois Media Ray Long
Michael Sneed
Allison Payne
John Conaty
Laura Washington
Richard Strasser
Gerald Jackson
Jason Erkes
Osborne Gresham
State of Illinois Staff Linda 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




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