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Southwest Illinois Trade Council announces trade mission to Mexico

A nonprofit organization actively assisting Metro East companies in exporting invites area businesses to travel on a customized trade mission to Mexico.
The Southwest Illinois Trade & Investment Council welcomes existing and future exporters here to participate in “Discover Mexico,” a five-day outbound trade mission to Mexico City and surrounding industrialized areas.

Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the International Trade Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, says the trade mission will take place July 23-27.

torrez silvia2017“This trip is a critical part of the very mission of SWITIC, which is to raise awareness of global exporting and foreign direct investment as an opportunity for economic stability and growth in Southwest Illinois,” Torres Bowman (shown) said. “We know that this trip will be one of many that our organization spearheads as a means of helping companies in our region develop long-term relationships with their global customers and partners.”

SWITIC is working with the State of Illinois Latin America & Caribbean Office and the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, both based in Mexico, as well as the International Trade Center at SIUE to coordinate trip specifics. Torres Bowman said SWITIC is creating customized connections and one-on-one conversations for Southwest Illinois mission participants. “Each participating company will have an interpreter and a driver,” said Torres Bowman. “Where we visit depends upon the individual participants and their specific needs. We’re also prepared to connect SWITIC with other manufacturing, entrepreneurial and trade related organizations in Mexico to establish a relationship – perhaps via an MOU (memorandum of understanding) that benefits our region and our businesses,” she added. “We urge interested manufacturers to contact us now so we have time to prepare and support them in our plans for the mission.”

David Kniepkamp is chairman of SWITIC’s board of directors and president of Smart Controls LLC, a Southwest Illinois-based manufacturer of automated building controls. Kniepkamp, who regularly exports Smart Controls products globally, encourages businesses in the region to consider taking part in SWITIC’s outbound trade mission to solidify connections and opportunities abroad.

“This trade mission to Mexico creates an unparalleled opportunity for businesses to gain expert assistance and guidance in developing long-term international opportunities and connections,” Kniepkamp said.

For more information on how your company can participate in Discover Mexico, contact Torres Bowman at or call the International Trade Center at SIUE, (618) 650-2452.

The Southwest Illinois Trade & Investment Council has been in existence since 2015. The nonprofit organization educates, equips and connects area businesses with the expertise and contacts to begin or expand exporting their products.

For more information about the Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council, see


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