CHICAGO – January 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today welcomed a delegation of Chinese government and business leaders to Illinois and announced that more than a dozen Illinois providers of soy products have entered into sales agreements with buyers from 24 Chinese companies.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that Illinois remains a leader in the global marketplace. We are the transportation hub of the Midwest; we have the best farmland in the world; and we are committed to growing green technologies,” said Governor Quinn. “These important agreements with China will further grow our economy, and we will continue to show the world why Illinois is a premier place to do business.”
China is Illinois' third-largest export destination, and Illinois is among the top five states for agricultural export to China. Farmers and companies with operations in Illinois, including ADM, Bunge, Cargill, CHS, Columbia Grain Trading and Louis Drefyus, participated in the agreements with Chinese firms.
Governor Quinn was joined at today’s event by China's Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Chao, Danny Murphy, Chairman of American Soybean Association Trade Policy and International Affairs Committee and Treasurer of U.S. Soybean Export Council, entrepreneurs from China and the representatives of the Illinois Soybean Association.
“The Chinese government highly values and supports the Sino-U.S. business cooperation that aims at a win-win result, and it is the mission of the Chinese delegation to encourage more Chinese purchase from and Chinese investment in the United States,” said Vice Minister Wang.
Agriculture export to China from Illinois has increased each year since 2007, from $149 million to $552 million in 2009. Illinois' overall export to China in 2009 reached $2.47 billion. More than 30 Chinese companies have invested in Illinois, employing thousands of Illinois citizens.
“The Illinois Soybean Association is very pleased to have Governor Quinn be part of this signing ceremony with China, our number one customer of Illinois soybeans,” said Ron Moore, Illinois Soybean Association chairman. This is a testament to how the Governor recognizes the value and importance of Illinois soybean production, which ranks second in the U.S. with 466 million bushels harvested in 2010.”