Governor Pat Quinn’s trade mission to China began to bear economic fruit as he announced $300 million in new business agreements between companies in China and Illinois.
In a statement released Monday from Beijing, Quinn announced that one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers will build a $200 million wind farm in Lee County, Illinois. Additionally, a Decatur-based food production company will export $100 million worth of soy beans to a Chinese manufacturer of soy products by the end of 2012.
“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.
The new wind farm, built by Goldwind USA -- a subsidiary of a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer -- will create more than 100 construction and a dozen permanent maintenance jobs in Illinois Quinn said. Once online, the farm can provide the electricity needs of approximately 25,000 homes.
On the soybean front, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), will supply Jiusan Oils and Seeds with 180,000 tons of soybeans by December 2012, Quinn said. The Illinois Soybean Association said China is the No. 1 customer for exported Illinois soybeans.
The announcement came on the fourth day of Quinn’s trip to China, which includes stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The trip -- which includes a contingent of about 30 Illinois business leaders and politicians -- will cost the state $133,000, a price tag which has proven controversial given the state’s fiscal crisis.
Quinn’s office told the Associated Press that funding for the trip would come from a fund dedicated to promoting and marketing the state that is partially funded by the hotel-motel tax.
Quinn is not the first Illinois leader to travel to China this year. In March, Former Mayor Richard Daley made the trip, touting dreams of a China-like high-speed rail line linking O’Hare to the Loop.