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    Missouri, China step closer to air cargo deal
    By Tim Logan
    March 27, 2008 @ 10:49 am
    In Business Ticker

    A trade delegation from Missouri on Wednesday signed agreements with the Chinese government to further study the prospect of developing an international air cargo hub in St. Louis, said Gov. Matt Blunt.

    The deal includes more visits to the region by Chinese aviation and trade officials and more detailed study by business and government groups both here and in China of the market and logistics of building an air freight hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

    The deals also included a goal of boosting exports from Missouri to China by 50 percent over the next three years and studies of how to increase Chinese investment and trade in several key sectors of the St. Louis economy.

    St. Louis’ location in the middle of the country - far from existing international cargo hubs on the coasts - and its strong logistics and transportation industry make it well-suited for this type of deal, said Richard Fleming, president of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

    Gov. Blunt, China's Investment Promotion Agency and Trade Development Bureau Sign Agreement to Promote Missouri Trade

    Blunt-Bond-McCaskill Leading Successful Trade Mission to China

    BEIJING—Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt today signed an agreement with the Investment Promotion Agency and the Trade Development Bureau, on behalf of the Ministry of Commerce, that could make St. Louis a new transportation hub for trade with China and increase exports between Missouri and China. The memorandum of understanding document was signed following a series of meetings with Chinese officials led by Gov. Blunt and U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill. The governor and senators this week are leading a bipartisan delegation of government, business and civic leaders from the St. Louis area on a trade mission to China.

    “Missouri workers are the most productive employees in the world, and I am pleased to promote our state's workforce around the globe,” Gov. Blunt said. “This agreement is a result of our meetings with the Vice Minister of Commerce and promises to foster a long and beneficial relationship between Missouri and China that will open new markets for Missouri-made products, generate more opportunities for Missouri workers, and showcase the countless benefits of doing business in and with our state.”

    “The creation of a Sino-American import-export hub in St. Louis will mean hundreds of new jobs for Missourians and just makes economic, commercial, cultural, political and strategic sense,” U.S. Sen. Kit Bond said. “By improving trade between our countries, we can create jobs here at home for Missourians and a more sustainable and long-term relationship that benefits the U.S. and our strategic interests.”

    “This is an important milestone toward leveling the playing field for trade with China,” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said. “I’m happy to be working in a bipartisan way to enhance the opportunity to export manufactured goods and agricultural products from Missouri, which will help our economy and create jobs here at home.”

    The memorandum of understanding agreement outlines ways to strengthen the relationship between China and Missouri through new initiatives in trade and economic development. Calling St. Louis “the traditional center of the United States,” it says St. Louis “can serve as an important center for expanding two-way exchanges and investment between China, Missouri, and the Midwest.” It also says “Lambert St. Louis International Airport can become a potential center for Chinese airfreight and passenger flights.”

    The memorandum of understanding also states that a delegation of the Ministry of Commerce will visit Missouri to review and assess the opportunities for expanding trade and investment promotion activities in agriculture, high-tech equipment and other manufactured goods, financial services, manufacturing, parts assembly, and real estate. It calls for continuing efforts to “foster a long-term, friendly and cooperative relationship and to develop a healthy partnership between China, Missouri, and the Midwest region of the United States.”

    Joining Gov. Blunt and U.S. Senators Bond and McCaskill on the trade mission and for the meetings that resulted in the signing of the memorandum of understanding include: U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan; St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay; St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; and former Mo. Gov. Bob Holden who serves as the Vice Chairman of the Midwest U.S.-China Association and was invited by Gov. Blunt. Business leaders include Richard C. D. Fleming, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA); David L. Steward, chairman and CEO of World Wide Technology; and executives with Pfizer, Peabody Energy, Unigroup, McEagle Properties, the World Trade Center St. Louis, and Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

    “This is an outstanding agreement for the whole St. Louis area,” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said. “Our goal is to create good paying jobs in St. Louis. China’s interest is in developing the St. Louis area as a major point of access for trade in the United States. We believe we have taken an important step toward the goals of both sides.”

    The RCGA’s Fleming commented: “We have shown the Chinese that the St. Louis area’s role and position in the United States -- embodied in our region’s brand, ‘Perfectly Centered. Remarkably Connected’ -- make us a natural hub as they seek to expand their trade with the U.S., especially our exports. The St. Louis area is at the center of a 20-state global market that accounts for 43 percent of the U.S. population, 40 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, and 40 percent of U.S. agriculture. This market -- equal in area to India and in production to Japan and Mexico combined -- is not well-served by the two coasts. Our geographical location and superb transportation assets make us a natural.”

    St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said, “We are extremely pleased with the details of the memorandum of understanding and I know our entire Missouri delegation believes that it signals a very encouraging trend with our friends here in China.”

    The trip is a follow-up to the visit to St. Louis last February of Zhou Wenzhong, China’s Ambassador to the United States. That visit, the first by a Chinese ambassador to St. Louis in memory, resulted from an invitation by the two Senators and was hosted by the RCGA. During his two days here, Mr. Zhou received briefings on the area’s transportation assets and from executives at such companies and organizations as Monsanto, Pfizer, Bunge North America, Washington University, Webster University, the University of Missouri, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Danforth Plant Science Center, and others.

  • #2

    not Mid-America?


    • #3
      Originally posted by hansolo View Post

      not Mid-America?

      Mid-America is in Illinois. That complicated the negotiations between MO and China.
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      • #4
        MiniVans to China?
        Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.


        • #5
          Originally posted by BringBackZezel View Post
          Mid-America is in Illinois. That complicated the negotiations between MO and China.
          I know - Too bad Mid-America and Illinois did nothing.

          That airport would have been more ideal than Lambert.

          Good for Missouri if this goes through though.


          • #6

            Delegation Seeks to Increase Trade with China
            Adam Allington

            ST. LOUIS (2008-04-02) A trade delegation including Governor Matt Blunt, Senators Claire McCaskill and Kit Bond, as well as Congressman Russ Carnahan and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has just returned from a weeklong trip to China. The group was lobbying on behalf of a St. Louis to China trade route. Chinese aviation officials signed a memorandum of understanding to visit St. Louis to explore the potential of a Midwest air hub at Lambert Airport. Bond says he's optimistic the deal will proceed sometime over the next six months.

            "We hope that after we host the Chinese officials from civil aviation administration and Air China we will have something concrete and make that a definitive deal, that's what we're working towards."

            Bond says Missouri exported close to a billion dollars worth of product to China last year. He says China has agreed to increase that figure by 50-percent over the next three years.


            • #7
              Missouri hates human rights


              • #8
                This is potentially huge deal for the region if it goes through:


                Effort seeks St. Louis as trade hub with China

                January 26, 2009 4:19 PM ET

                ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis civic leaders have dubbed it "The Big Idea." If it works, St. Louis could become a major trade hub with China.

                Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., joined civic leaders and China's ambassador to the U.S., Zhou Wenzhong (pronounced Joh Wen-Zawng), on Monday to announce formation of the Midwest China Hub Commission. The commission is made up of representatives from St. Louis city, St. Louis County, the state of Missouri and other entities.

                The goal is to expand trade between the Midwest and China, and to create jobs and economic development here as a result of the cooperative effort. The plan includes using Lambert Airport in St. Louis and MidAmerica St. Louis Airport at nearby Mascoutah, Ill., as cargo and freight hubs that would benefit the entire Midwest. Daniel Mehan, president of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that St. Louis is within a one-day drive of nine states.

                Zhou said the Chinese are well aware of the importance of expanding trade beyond the U.S. coasts.

                "Midwest America is very important in trade relations between China and the United States," Zhou said. "We are buying a lot of things from this part of the U.S., particularly agricultural products. A lot of soybeans. A lot of cotton."

                St. Louis and Missouri officials first approached the Chinese with the idea of creating a Midwestern trade hub here about a year ago. Delegations from both countries have traded visits.

                "This is probably one of the most exciting opportunities I've seen in 45 years working to develop trade opportunities for Missouri," Bond said.
                St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association chief Richard C.D. Fleming said about 143 million Americans live in what is broadly defined as the Midwest — about two-fifths of the population. He said St. Louis "is in a unique position in the center of the United States to serve this role."

                It's a role St. Louis has filled for decades, even centuries, dating to the days of fur trading in the late 18th Century. Today, officials noted that both airports have plenty of room for development as air cargo centers, and are willing and eager to be part of the project.

                China also is an eager participant, Zhou said, noting that China is the fourth-largest market for Missouri goods. Bond said Missouri exports about $1 billion annually in goods to China.

                "The cooperation between China and the Midwest is on solid ground and has great potential," Zhou said.

                The economic slump has prompted some to call for protectionism. Bond said that's exactly the wrong way to approach the crisis.

                "With the world economy in a slump, now is the time to be expanding markets for Midwest products and opening up new opportunities for Missouri workers," Bond said.


                • #9
                  Planes may come in to MidAmerica!


                  • #10
                    I doubt it
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                    • #11
                      So what is Mo going to Export? Empty Cargo containers?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fzjjfk View Post
                        So what is Mo going to Export? Empty Cargo containers?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fzjjfk View Post
                          So what is Mo going to Export? Empty Cargo containers?
                          From the article:

                          "Midwest America is very important in trade relations between China and the United States," Zhou said. "We are buying a lot of things from this part of the U.S., particularly agricultural products. A lot of soybeans. A lot of cotton."
                          And Brain Sandwiches. Dudes eat cats - they'd love them some fried cow brain.



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fzjjfk View Post
                            So what is Mo going to Export? Empty Cargo containers?
                            Natty Light...

                            "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                            Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                            -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy


                            • #15
                              It will be nice to see green-clad Chinese soldiers goose stepping in our terminal.