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.