Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond has taken a couple of Missouri business leaders to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Indonesia and has come back hoping the state will take steps that could pay off big for Missouri. Officials from Peabody Energy of St. Louis, the world’s largest privately-held coal company, and from Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City, an international engineering company, have gone with Bond to the conference that included presidents and prime ministers from 10 countries and about 1,200 CEOs.
Bond says both companies can capitalize on the exploding economies in those nations. But he says the key is setting up the China Trade Hub at Lambert-St. Louis airport. The legislature hasn’t been able to agree on taking steps to set up the hub. But Bond says it’s important the legislature approve a system that puts Missouri products on Chinese planes that bring goods to mid-America and now fly home empty.