Continuing his economic trade mission in Brazil, Governor Pat Quinn today visited Recife where he announced major steps to build upon Illinois' role as a leading competitor in the global marketplace. While in Recife, the Governor administered several economic development and education agreements that will help pave the way for continued trade and innovation between Illinois and Brazil.
"I am committed to ensuring that Illinois is a top competitor in today's global marketplace," Governor Quinn said. "The agreements and programs our two regions are announcing today build upon our effort to expand our economies, while also boosting innovation and growing technologies."
The agreements signed today include a sister river agreement between the state of Illinois and Pernambuco, Brazil. Under the agreement, the regions will work together to share policies and innovative ideas to maintain and conserve the Illinois and Capibaribe Rivers, as well as the promotion of economic development for these two vital waterways through sustainable commercial and navigational uses and eco-friendly tourism and recreation activities.
Earlier this week during the trade mission, the Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, Brazil (FIESP) signed an agreement to promote trade and investment between Illinois and Brazilian manufacturing companies. This agreement will pave the way for Illinois companies to gain improved access to FIESP member companies and ease their entry into the Brazilian market. In particular, Governor Quinn's focus on the Doing Business with Illinois program and the IMA-FIESP agreement will help Illinois companies maximize business opportunities resulting from the billions of dollars Brazil's government plans to invest in improving its transportation infrastructure across the country.
On Monday, the Governor also supervised a separate agreement between BIO- RIO, Brazil's leading biotechnology association, and the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, a public-private organization that cultivates and attracts research and technology-based investment in the state. Among other key activities covered in the agreement, BIO-RIO, which recently opened a Chicago office, will coordinate Brazil's pavilion and have a presence at the April 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago. The BIO Convention is the largest gathering of biotech firms in the world. The agreement creates an important platform for communication and exchange between the organizations and their members to promote collaboration in research, talent and trade and investment opportunities across the life sciences sector.
During the mission, Governor Quinn also promoted Illinois' world class educational institutions and presided over agreements between several educational institutions in Illinois and Brazil that are designed to attract greater numbers of Brazilian students to the State. These agreements promote joint teaching and research opportunities, faculty and student exchanges and other educational opportunities to foster a collaborative relationship between the partner institutions. Partner institutions include:
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Campinas, the premier university in São Paulo;
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Federal University of Pernambuco, one of Brazil's top universities;
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and State University of Pernambuco, a public state university located in Recife;
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), the federal agency that oversees graduate education in Brazil;
DePaul University and CAPES;
The Illinois Institute of Technology and CAPES;
The Illinois Institute of Technology and Northeast Center for Strategic Technologies, a research unit under the Brazilian government; and
Kendall College and the University of Anhembi Morumbi, one of three private universities in São Paulo.
At each of the three stops in São Paulo, Brasilia, and Recife, Governor Quinn is holding meetings with key private sector leaders, top government officials and potential trading partners in order to open up more markets to Illinois companies. Among the senior Brazilian officials meeting with Gov. Quinn are Geraldo Alckmin, Governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic engine and most populous state.
Gov. Quinn's schedule also includes meetings with Minister of Education Aloizio Mercadante Oliva; Minister of Transportation Paulo Sergio Passos; Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Pimentel; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp; US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.; and Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil Alexandre Antonio Tombini; as well as other Brazilian government and business leaders.
Before departing on Friday, Governor Quinn and the Illinois trade mission delegation will also meet with more than 60 business leaders from the State of Pernambuco, including Gov. Eduardo Henrique Accioly Campos, as guests of the American Chamber of Commerce in Recife. He will also tour infrastructure projects at the Port of Suape and view Illinois-based Ingredion Inc's facility in Pernambuco, Brazil.
For updates on Governor Quinn's trip, visit www.Illinois.gov or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's website at www.illinoisbiz.biz.