With a meeting last week at SIUE, the Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council has been launched. Bringing together 15 private sector exporters, the county board chairmen of Madison and St. Clair counties; two regional port representatives, three regional airport representatives, a freight forwarder and two banking representatives, the council hopes to provide a shot in the arm for commerce and job growth in the region.
Leah Dettmers, Madison County Economic Development Specialist, tells The Big Z the new council has identified three key objectives:
Click here for Dettmers' comments
Illinois placed fifth among the 50 states, and #1 in the Midwest in total exports last year with more than $68 billion in international shipments. Since 2009, Illinois exports have increased by $24.2 billion, or 58%, outperforming the national average of 50%. In 2014, products from Illinois were sent to 217 countries.