Quinn announces business agreement with China, projects state exports to double by 2014

Gov. Pat Quinn announced two agreements between Chinese and American companies during his business and economic trade mission in Beijing, China, on Monday.

Altogether, Quinn will spend eight days on his trade mission, which started Friday.

At the trade mission, the first agreement Quinn discussed was China-based Goldwind’s plans to build a $200 million wind farm in Lee County, located in north-central Illinois. The second agreement involved entering Decatur-based agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Co. into a $100 million sales agreement with Jiusan Oils and Seeds. That makes ADM responsible for supplying 180,000 metric tons of soybeans to this Chinese soy products manufacturer by December 2012.

Both deals will move Illinois closer to reaching Quinn’s goal of doubling state exports by 2014. And the project itself will provide enough electricity for 25,000 homes and create 100 construction jobs as well as a dozen permanent jobs.

“Illinois is a top competitor in the global economy, and our aggressive plans to double exports and develop innovative new partnerships in emerging technology fields are continuing to advance our growth on the international stage,” Quinn said in a press release.

He added that Illinois has the resources, human capital and innovative drive to expand the U.S.’s global reach and grow in the global marketplace.

These agreements could help garner a positive relationship between Illinois soybean farmers and Chinese consumers, said David Ragan, product line manager, ADM.

“In addition to helping to meet soybean demand and keep costs consistent for Chinese consumers, this partnership also underscores ADM’s advancing interests in China and our commitment to serving China’s priorities in food security, food safety and food sustainability,” Ragan added.

Meanwhile, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said such foreign trade deals can’t make up for Quinn’s policies that placed a negative reputation on Illinois as a bad place for companies to operate.

However, that doesn’t stop Goldwind from taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with the U.S., which Goldwind Chariman and CEO Wu Gang called the “largest and most competitive market in the world.”

“Thanks to visionary leaders like Governor Quinn, Goldwind and other renewable energy companies are able to generate an undeniable economic impact in the U.S. wind industry through job creation and supplier agreements,” Gang said. “Goldwind has generated a competitive global footprint and we are focused on continuing that momentum, continuing to demonstrate our technology advantages and continuing to build-out our global supply chain.”

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.

_The Associated Press contributed to this report._