Gov. Pat Quinn visited Brazil in late September to make a pitch for Brazilian tourists to visit Illinois. (Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user over_kind_man)
By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD - The head of Illinois’ trade office is declaring victory after the recent trip to Brazil.
Deputy director of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Adam Pollet said the state stands to benefit from last week’s trip.
“We are really competing on a global stage, and the governor has an incredible vision about what that means,” Pollet said. "Already we export $2.5 billion worth of goods to Brazil, but where are the opportunities that are going to develop in the next five to ten years?”
Pollet said the answer is highway and rail infrastructure, a good fit for engineering firms represented on the trip.
Brazil is investing heavily in transportation, which bodes well, Pollet said, for engineering firms as well as heavy equipment manufacturers John Deere and Caterpillar.
Pollet said Quinn’s trip to Japan last year paid off in that the rail car maker Nippon Sharyo now is manufacturing in Rochelle.
Education and tourism get attention as well, Pollet said, as Brazilians make up a big market of people considering the U. S. for college or vacation.
Pollet said last week’s trip also served to promote an international bio-conference next year in Chicago.