The RAEDC works with Rockford Area companies on establishing and improving:
- Programs to increase the total value of goods exported
- The process of establishing and growing an export program
- Relationships with foreign companies interested in sourcing manufactured products from the United States
Your Opportunity Region
The Rockford Region is your opportunity region for many reasons:
- Rockford is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the state of Illinois.
- The region has nine Sister Cities spread around the globe and one industrial trade agreement.
- Over 11 trade delegations have visited the Rockford Region and the region has sponsored six trade missions abroad.
- An international arrival gate is located at Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) with 24-hour Customs and Border Security Service.
- Over 20 foreign nations have made Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) decisions in the Rockford Area.
- Exports as a percentage of gross metropolitan product (GMP) are growing at an increasing rate and averaging a double digit figure.
- The region boasts a growing export business culture that grew 93% from 2010 to 2013 and was $2.491 Billion for 2014.
- Exports made up 19% of the Rockford Area’s GMP in 2014.
- The region has been provided with a federal, “Immigration through Investment Zone”.
Our Export Eco System
We know that companies that participate in the global marketplace are more profitable and sustainable. That is why international outreach efforts play a pivotal role in the RAEDC’s economic development strategy. To propel our efforts we promote programs such as Foreign Trade Zones and Foreign Direct Investment.
Regional Export Statistics
- Over 80 percent of exports in the Rockford Region are from our manufacturing companies.
- Working relationship with neighboring Chicago International Trade Commissioners Association, consulates and trade commissioners representing over 40 countries from 6 continents
International Trade Center Services
- Assessing export readiness
- Export business planning
- Assisting in foreign market entry
- Cross-cultural communication
- Education and networking forums
- Export document training
- Identifying potential export markets
- Identifying potential foreign buyers
- Marketing strategies
- Partnerships Opportunities
- Navigating customs regulations
- Risk management
- Trade finance
Focus on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
It is a priority that globalization work in our region’s favor. RAEDC markets the Rockford Region internationally, working to constantly attract FDI. Initiatives include:
- Marketing the Rockford Region to international trade representatives and business groups in Chicago and through events such as Hannover Messe and SelectUSA.
- Attending international trade shows in our targeted growth industries, setting meetings with high growth, international companies looking to grow presence in the U.S.
- Conducting international impact missions, on which RAEDC staff and local government officials meet with high growth, international companies looking to grow presence in the U.S. and government officials.
- Host international delegations looking for business opportunities in the U.S.
- Distribute e-newsletters to international contacts highlighting opportunities for investment in the Rockford Area.
- Market the Immigration through Investment EB-5 Visa Program to attract investment into our region.
- Develop our relationships with our sister cities who then recommend the Rockford Region as an investment opportunity to their local companies.