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International Trade Center at SIUE Works with Trade and Investment Council to Promote Region

Council  Looks To participate in International Trade Shows & Investment Missions

Trade Council January 2016
10 February 2016, 8:20 AM

The Illinois International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville continues to advocate for international trade and foreign investment in the region. The ITC has further emphasized that mission by joining the newly formed Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council.

At the council’s first 2016 meeting at MidAmerica Airport near Belleville, members collaborated to formalize the structure of the new council, according to Frank Miles, administrator of community and economic development for Madison County.

 “In order to operate effectively and accomplish its objectives, it is important that the Trade and Investment Council adopts bylaws, elects officers and identifies working committees,” Miles stated. “In order for the council to succeed, to improve international trade and foreign investments in our area, we have to have a cohesive team working together to implement an integrated plan.”

The members of the Trade and Investment Council also expressed the need for the council to demonstrate a sense of urgency in its efforts. 

“It is important that as we progress with the council’s structure, we quickly identify and participate in trade and investment shows and missions where we can promote the economic opportunities available in Southwestern Illinois,” said Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the ITC.

 “We must also be realistic in our identification of projects,” she continued. “We need to identify solid opportunities to showcase our area and what we have to offer, and then work to ensure those opportunities are developed into success stories.”

Following the meeting, Tim Cantwell, executive director of MidAmerica Airport, led council members on a tour of the North Bay Produce distribution center, located within the airport’s extensive complex. North Bay Produce is a national and international distributor of fresh produce.

The International Trade Center at SIUE serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in southern Illinois by providing individualized, export consultation; identification of foreign buyers, agents and/or distributors through trade leads, international market analysis and more. The ITC is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to the region’s entrepreneurial and business community. As a key member of the Illinois SBDC Network, the International Trade Center delivers these important services to its clients while supporting the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

For more information on why your company should consider doing business globally, or how to increase your international sales, contact the ITC at or (618) 650-3851.

PhotoView of the council meeting held at MidAmerica Airport.

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The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a service to Illinois small businesses

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