The “Big Idea” takes another giant step

February 2, 2009

Mr. Dick Fleming, president of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association (RCGA) relates the following great news in his MondayMemo to RCGA board members and other key investors (February 2, 2009).

Next Big Step For The “Big Idea”: Senators Bond & McCaskill Announce $1.7 Million Federal Support For Midwest/China Hub Commission: Just one week ago today, China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Zhou Wenzhong, and his delegation joined State and local, and business and civic leaders at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis to announce the formation of a new entity here to spearhead and coordinate efforts to make St. Louis a Hub for China’s Midwest trade. The Midwest/China Hub Commission is a public/private entity that will operate both here in St. Louis and in Beijing.

Then, on Friday, U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is committing more than $1.7 million in federal funding to support the St. Louis-China Hub initiative.

Under the Department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, St. Louis County will receive $1,725,000 on behalf of the new Commission. Last November, Senators Bond and McCaskill sent a letter to the EDA urging the Administration to support the grant application for the St. Louis-China hub initiative and provide federal funds.

The Commission will serve as a consortium to facilitate the expanding group of U.S. and Chinese businesses and governmental organizations working together; the Commission will also help Chinese companies and investors access the bistate region and the Midwest more easily and directly, and assist regional and Midwestern companies seeking to do business in China.

St. Louis County chief policy advisor Mike Jones is Chair of the Commission. I [Dick Fleming] am pleased to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission along with Dan Mehan, President of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In addition to St. Louis County , the RCGA, and the Missouri Chamber, other initial members of the Commission are: the State of Missouri ; the City of St. Louis ; the World Trade Center of St. Louis; the Missouri Partnership; and the St. Louis County Economic Council.

Ambassador Zhou, Commission Vice Chairs Dick Fleming and Dan Mehan, and London Export CEO Stephen Perry.

Sen. Kit Bond, at the podium, addresses reporters at the news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown. Pictured from left to right are: Ambassador Zhou, Commission Vice Chairs Dick Fleming and Dan Mehan, and London Export CEO Stephen Perry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambassador Zhou speaks at the luncheon, celebrating the Chinese New Year and the formal launch of the new Commission, at the Four Seasons.

Ambassador Zhou speaks at the luncheon, celebrating the Chinese New Year and the formal launch of the new Commission, at the Four Seasons.

 

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