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Illinois SBDC International Trade Center
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Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council

Purpose: To raise awareness of global exporting and foreign direct investment as an opportunity for economic stability and growth in Southwestern Illinois; to identify and form strategies to address barriers that discourage or limit exports from the region and/or foreign direct investment; and to encourage existing and potential global exporters in the region to support services available that improve their chances for success.

Organization: The Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council's (SWIL TIC) boundaries shall initially include a region that covers the counties of Madison, St. Clair, Jersey, Calhoun, Bond, Clinton, Washington, Randolph, and Monroe counties.  The SWIL TIC shall consist of a Board of Directors and a participating membership.  The Board of Directors will govern the affairs of the SWIL TIC.  The appointed members would include private sector exporters, the county board chairmen of St. Clair and Madison counties; regional port representatives, regional airport representatives, freight forwarders, and banking representatives.  Ex-officio members will come from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Commerce, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's International Trade Center, Madison County, and St. Clair County.  Staffing for the Council will be provided through one or more of the ex-officio members. Participating membership shall also be made available to other interested entities from business, chambers, economic development organizations, education, city and county government.

Process: The SWIL Trade and Investment Council would meet on a quarterly basis. In addition to attending quarterly meetings and supporting initiatives of the Illinois Export Advisory Council, the SWIL TIC Board members and staff would collect baseline data on exporters and exports from the region, set measurable exporting goals for the region, and design work activities and/or events for the participating members that would achieve higher exporting and foreign direct investment levels for the region.

Goals and Objectives: The immediate benefits generated by the formation of and activities by the SWIL Trade and Investment Council include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Greater awareness and compliance of exporting requirements/opportunities.
  2. Identification and activation of a network of local economic development professionals and chamber leaders that encourage and support exporting and foreign direct investment activities within their communities, counties, and/or regions.
  3. Increased access to and usage of the region’s exporting assistance programs/services.
  4. Expanded job creation and capital investment.
  5. Greater utilization of the region’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure and assets.


  • Organize and implement a Reverse Foreign Trade Mission for the region.
  • Proactively organize individual and/or group foreign market sales missions for the region with the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment (OTI).
  • Organize a series of regional seminars/events focused on increasing exports & foreign direct investment.
  • Institute a Southwestern Illinois Exporter of the Year Award(s).
  • Develop a SWIL Trade and Investment Newsletter; participate in trade shows.
  • Work with OTI to engage the Illinois Foreign Trade Offices in marketing the region's multimodal transportation and other assets to spur foreign direct investment.
  • Organize a mentoring program to assist businesses interested in starting and/or increasing exports.
  • Make a concerted effort to bring foreign direct investment expertise to the region.

Board of Directors

Resource Directory

Meeting Minutes January 28, 2021

Meeting Minutes October 22, 2020

Meeting Minutes July 23, 2020

Meeting Minutes January 23, 2020

Meeting Minutes October 24, 2019

Meeting Minutes July 25, 2019

Meeting Minutes April 25, 2019

Meeting Minutes January 24, 2019

Meeting Minutes October 25, 2018

Meeting Minutes April 26, 2018

Meeting Minutes January 26, 2018


In the News:

Q&A with David Kniepkamp, president of the Southwest Illinois Trade & Investment Council

Southwest Illinois Trade & Investment Council Names First Board of Directors

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

Dunstan, Kern Announce Formation of Southwestern Illinois Trade & Investment Council

Video: Where Will Your Next Customer Come From?

 Video: Strategies for Growth
Exporting Opportunities

Export Success Story Videos: 



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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