Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Announces Agreements to Strengthen Partnership, Investment Between Illinois and Brazil PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:39

Partnerships Reflect Joint Commitment to Boosting Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Education and Agriculture

RECIFE, BRAZIL – September 26, 2012. 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 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


Secretary Vilsack Announces Soybean Board Appointments PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 09:16

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2012 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment of 16 members to the United Soybean Board.

"These appointees represent a cross section of the soybean industry and I am confident that they will serve the soybean producers well," said Vilsack.

Appointed Soybean Board members are as follows: James H. Carroll, III, Arkansas; Walter L. Godwin, Georgia; David P. Hartke, Illinois; Mark A. Seib, Indiana; Laura L. Foell, Iowa; Dennis R. Clark, Kentucky; Raymond S. Schexnayder, Jr., Louisiana; James A. Call, Minnesota; Todd A. Gibson, Missouri; Mark Caspers, Nebraska; Morris L. Shambley, North Carolina; Jay M. Myers, North Dakota; John B. Motter, Ohio; Jim Musser, Pennsylvania; David G. Iverson, South Dakota; and Robert W. White, Jr., Virginia.

The 69-member board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act. The Secretary selected the appointees from soybean producers nominated by Qualified State Soybean Boards. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning December 2012.

Research and promotion programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress, and date back to 1966, when Congress passed the Cotton Research and Promotion Act. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 20 research and promotion boards. They empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which ensures fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.


Braley Applauds Senate Bill Passage, Protecting Marshalltown Manufacturing Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:55

Braley-authored language reverses regulation threatening Marshalltown refrigeration manufacturer

Waterloo, IA – In the early morning of Saturday, September 22nd, the United States Senate passed language that is nearly identical to the Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations (BURR) Act introduced by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03). This bill removes burdensome government regulations that threatened the future of manufacturing of refrigerated deli-style display cases in the United States.

Lennox Industries, Inc., which makes the deli-style display cases covered by the regulation, has a manufacturing facility in Marshalltown, Iowa, that employs about 1,000 people.  The adoption of this bill will help protect Iowa manufacturing jobs.

“I’m proud to continue working across the aisle in the House and Senate to remove these regulations that are putting Iowa jobs at risk,” said Braley. “The Department of Energy had effectively outlawed refrigerated display cases found in grocery stores and delis and that was completely unfair to manufacturing in Iowa. We’re making progress to fix this misguided regulation. Passing this language is an example of getting results by putting politics aside, and coming together to fight for common sense solutions that save jobs in Iowa.”

The problem remedied by this language stems from the federal government’s interpretation of a 2005 law that increases energy efficiency standards for appliances.  The Department of Energy believed it was required by law to include refrigerated deli display cases in the same category as standard refrigerators.  However, the inherent design of such display cases makes it impossible for the equipment to reach the minimum efficiency standards set forth for refrigerators in the 2005 law, effectively outlawing their manufacture in the United States.

Braley and Westmoreland’s Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Act creates a new energy efficiency category for refrigerated deli-style display cases, effectively reversing the regulation and safeguarding the product’s continued manufacture in Marshalltown and other locations in the US.  This language passed the Senate as an amendment to H.R. 4850, the Enabling Energy Saving Innovations Act. It previously passed the House with overwhelming support on June 21, 2012, as an amendment to HR 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012.

A copy of the Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Amendment can be downloaded at the following link:

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Going ‘Green’ is Good for Business, Exec Says PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:28
Tips for Companies Trying to Clean Up Their Act

Despite pressing economic worries, the environment remains a top concern for consumers the world over. And that means environmentally-friendly business practices are as necessary for the bottom line as they are for the planet, says Joe Veilleux, president of Euromed USA (

“Being a producer of natural ingredients for pharmaceuticals and health supplements, we’ve always held environmentalism as a major company value,” says Veilleux, a registered pharmacist.“We’re glad to see that, even when people face unemployment and other economic hardships, they’re still committed to green practices.”

Recent polls, including BCG’s annual International Global Green Consumer Surveys taken throughout the recession, reveal an unwavering commitment to environmentalism, he says.

“Even at the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009, more than a third of consumers said they were willing to pay a little more for products that are better for the environment,” Veilleux says. “A majority said they consider a company’s environmental credentials when making purchasing decisions.”

Euromed recently earned “green” ISO 14001 certification for its Barcelona factory by meeting stringent criteria established by the world International Standardization Organization, which sets standards for sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

“In the five-year process of re-engineering our factory to meet the ISO 14001 criteria, we learned a lot that can benefit other companies,” Veilleux says. “Some of the steps we took cost little to nothing; others were, frankly, expensive. But all companies today need to be aware that consumers are looking at what they’re doing to – and for – the planet, and they’re making buying decisions based on that.”

These are some of the initiatives undertaken at Euromed Barcelona, which manufactures herbal extracts and natural active substances for customers in the United States and Europe.

• Recycling biomass – the company’s manufacturing waste product. We’ve found different ways to recycle the post-extraction biomass, depending on the product involved, Veilleux says.  “Much of the residue is sent to companies that specialize in creating bio-gas – specifically, methane, which is used to generate power,” he says. “However, the residue left from milk thistle has such a high nutritional value, it’s actually used to feed farm animals. We ship the waste product to a company that dries it out and cleans it before it’s added to feed for pigs, chickens, cows, and the like. The biomass is given away for free, he adds.

• Wood pallets become compost. At Euromed, wooden pallets are reused until they can’t be used any longer. “At that point, they’re sent to recycling facilities, which use them in composting products,” Veilleux says. This step was easily accomplished by working through waste management companies.

• Printer toners get refilled. Empty toner cartridges are shipped to the company’s supplier, where they’re recharged and returned for use. If not for recycling, the toner cartridges would be deposited in landfills.

• Cleaner air and water. The company purchased new equipment to accomplish these goals, including on-site wastewater treatment and water purification plants, and equipment to decrease atmospheric emissions.

All totaled, Euromed spent $1 million to $2 million to upgrade its factory. It was money well spent, Veilleux says.

“We’re excited about the certification because it verifies that we’re one of the world’s leaders in environmentally friendly production,” he says. “That’s very important to us -- we rely on plants, the Earth’s natural, renewable resources,not only for our business but for our personal health.

“We have a special interest in making everyone aware of how vital it is that we all take steps to prevent environmental damage.

About Euromed USA

Euromed USA supplies standardized botanical and herbal extracts and natural active substances for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. By extracting the necessary chemicals, the company can guarantee its products meet the precise chemical specifications necessary. Euromed was founded 40 years ago. Its parent company is the 100-year-old Rottapharm-Madaus corporation based in Italy.

Governor Quinn Invites Brazilians to Visit Illinois, Encourages Business Partnerships During Trade Mission PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Erin Wilson   
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:24

State ramps up effort to attract Brazilian visitors as Illinois delegation promotes tourism

São Paulo – September 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn invited Brazilians to Illinois today during his trade mission to Brazil to increase tourism, education and business between the state and the South American country. The Governor is addressing members of the travel industry in São Paulo this afternoon to showcase Illinois and Chicago as a visitor destination. Joining Governor Quinn are a host of Illinois businesses and organizations, including Chicago-based United Airlines, to encourage travel to Illinois. The trip is part of Governor Quinn’s economic development program, which promotes Illinois’ business advantages on a global stage.

“Illinois offers Brazilians an authentic American experience,” said Governor Quinn. “Whether it is the world-class culture and scenic lakefront in Chicago, the history of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, the bluffs along the Mississippi River or the farmlands surrounding the historic Route 66 highway, Brazilian travelers will find plenty to enjoy in Illinois.”

Governor Quinn’s effort to draw more Brazilian visitors to Illinois builds on recent tourism gains. Illinois welcomed 56,000 visitors from Brazil in 2011, making Brazilians the seventh largest group of overseas travelers to Illinois. Inbound travel from Brazil to the U.S. is expected to grow 70 percent between 2011 and 2016.

The Illinois tourism industry generated a record $31.8 billion in 2011, up 8.4 percent from a year ago, fueled by a record increase in leisure travel. The robust results emphasize the critical role tourism plays in fueling Illinois’ economic growth, creating jobs and providing additional revenue to the state.

Governor Quinn’s trade mission to Brazil also coincides with increased efforts by Choose Chicago, the city’s official sales and marketing organization, to attract Brazilian visitors and promote Chicago as a business and leisure travel destination. Choose Chicago recently established a new partnership with São Paulo-based Interamerican Network to support Chicago’s tourism efforts in Brazil. Interamerican will provide support for travel trade sales and relations in this important Latin American market.

“Brazil is among Chicago’s top overseas inbound markets,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Choose Chicago, who joined Governor Quinn in Sao Paulo. “With extensive efforts underway to ease the visa process for Brazilian travelers to the United States coupled with daily nonstop service between São Paulo and Chicago, we have a great opportunity to share compelling reasons for Brazilians to travel to Chicago, whether for the first time or as returning visitors.”

United Airlines offers a daily nonstop flight from São Paulo to Chicago. The airline also serves Rio de Janeiro with daily one-stop flights from Chicago.

“More and more Brazilians are choosing Chicago as their destination, whether for business or tourism, and United wants to support and invest in this opportunity,” said Cristiane Franck, country director for Brazil and Argentina at United Airlines. “We recently celebrated 20 years of operations in Brazil and are aligned with the development of the local market.”

More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at

Tourism Facts

·           Illinois is the 8th most visited state by international travelers. (Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries)

·          Chicago is the 10th most popular destination for international travelers. (Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries)

·           Inbound travel from Brazil to the US is expected to grow 70% from 2011 to 2016 (second highest rate of forecasted growth). (Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries)

·           Inbound travel from Brazil to the US grew 26% to 1,508,000 in 2011 from 2010. (Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries)

·           Brazil ranks fifth in visitor spending in the U.S., spending a record $8.5 billion in 2011, up 36% from a year earlier. Brazil has seen double-digit growth for eight consecutive years. Travel and tourism account for 39% of all U.S. services exports to Brazil. (Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries)


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