Morrison, IL (September 28, 2018) - Representatives from Bulgaria, Ecuador, Greece, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Philippines, South Africa and Spain will be in the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region on Wednesday October 10, for a Familiarization Tour and “Doing Business with …” Forum and Luncheon conducted by Whiteside County Economic Development. The group is part of the Chicago International Trade Commissioner’s Association, and they will spend time touring two local manufacturers, the Rock Fall’s RB&W Park and Sculpture Exhibit, and then move on to Sauk Valley Community College where they will participate in a Luncheon and Business Forum. Here they will get a chance to meet area business leaders, elected officials, civic leaders and stakeholders to discuss trade opportunities between the region’s businesses and their homelands.
According to Gary Camarano, Whiteside’s Economic Development Director, the CITCA members, “Will have a chance to see the region up close, learn about the product and services produced here and present opportunities for mutually beneficial trade. It will be a little bit like ‘speed dating’. The countries will have about eight minutes to give a brief overview of their country and its opportunities, followed up by a Q&A and networking session. From there it’s up to the parties involved to move further along. We ‘re just providing the opportunity for them to connect.”
The Northwest Illinois Region has several companies already involved in foreign trade, among them Wahl Clipper, the Illinois Governor’s Exporter of the Year 2018, Shank’s Veterinary Equipment, winner of “the President’s E Award 2016”, Astec Mobile Screens and Agri-King. There are also several foreign owned businesses including Menk USA, UPM Raflatac and Nestle operating in the region.
Teodora Boteva, Bulgaria’s Economic Consul in Chicago, and President of CITCA said, “We are eager to visit the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region. This is a great opportunity to learn about the region’s businesses and assets, and explore opportunities for mutually beneficial trade relationships. I think this could be a great starting point for Bulgaria, and some of our other CITCA members, in building strong commercial relationships.”
Dr. David Hellmich, President of Sauk Valley Community College added, “It’s wonderful to be able to host the Luncheon and Forum here on campus. Part of our mission is to be a partner in economic development. As an example, our workforce development programs like the Multicraft Extended Internship Program, and our new Agriculture program, are helping our local businesses with qualified employees that can help them compete in today’s highly competitive markets. In a way, Sauk Valley Community College is contributing to their success in competing in international markets by supporting a pipeline of talented employees. We’re happy to be part of this.”