China could help boost the economy of Whiteside County and northwest Illinois. That's the goal for Tuesday's visit by the Chinese Consul General from Chicago.
Whiteside County Economic Development Director, Gary Camarano, wants to help area businesses find export opportunities and encourage investment in the region by the world's second largest economy. Last year, China invested an estimated 45 billion dollars in the US.
"We don't have any Chinese businesses in our region but if they continue to spend that kind of money, I would like just a small percentage of that 45 billion to be located here in the Whiteside - northwest Illinois region."
Camarano says Chinese companies should be interested in northwest Illinois because of its location - within 500 miles of 80 million people.
"We've got five interstates in the region, we have two class one railroads, we have an intermodal facility in Rochelle, we've got the Mississippi River for barge traffic, and we've got access to international airports."
After touring the region, the Chinese Consul General, Hong Lei, will give a presentation on "Doing Business with China" at 11:30 am at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon.