In case we need yet another reason why Aerotropolis at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will likely not be built anytime soon: Illinois is reaching agreements with China for ground and water transport of Asian goods while Missouri has historically remained focused on solely attracting air cargo at Lambert. While this will not likely replace coastal ports nor do I believe this will have as much of an upward impact on Illinois economies as their local leaders boast, ground and water transport have a better chance of attracting trade partnerships than air cargo. Illinois has once again learned to diversify where Missouri and St. Louis leaders put on their blinders to focus on one option.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (STLToday, December 30, 2012):
The port district’s ability to use roads, rails, river and other modes of transport for goods makes it attractive to local and foreign developers, said Ellen Krohne, executive director of the Southwestern Illinois Leadership Council. The Edwardsville-based council is a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging growth and development in Madison and St. Clair counties.
The new agreement with Wuhan, she said, is also a boon to Madison County and the region because it opens doors.
“It gives the Chinese an opportunity to invest in Madison County,” Krohne said, including opening businesses and hiring workers. The county’s workforce, educational system and geographic location also make it competitive in competing for Chinese trade.”
The rest of the article can be found here.