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Article updated: 3/28/2013 8:52 AM

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to visit Mexico City

Gov. Pat Quinn will visit Mexico City next week on a trade mission, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Gov. Pat Quinn will visit Mexico City next week on a trade mission, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn will visit Mexico City next week on a trade mission, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Quinn's visit will focus "on job creation, agriculture and food production, manufacturing, water infrastructure and tourism," spokesman Grant Klinzman said in an email to The Associated Press. He said Quinn will leave April 3.

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Quinn will meet with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera and two governors. Quinn will publicly announce the trip -- including more details of his itinerary -- on Tuesday during an event in Melrose Park.

He has made foreign business trips to China, Japan, Brazil and elsewhere. On a trip to Spain last summer, Quinn paid for part of his travel expenses himself.

The governor has announced several business agreements with foreign corporations after some of his trips. Following a visit to China, he unveiled a $70 million trade deal on corn products.

Quinn has set a goal of doubling total Illinois exports by 2015.

Quinn, a Democrat, will be the first Illinois governor to visit Mexico in 13 years. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican, visited Mexico City in 1991 and 1998. His successor, GOP Gov. George Ryan, went to the capital city in 2000.

Exports to Mexico from Illinois in the first half of 2012 reached $3 billion. Mexico accounts for nearly 9 percent of the state's exports. Exported goods include machinery, agriculture products, electronics and chemicals.

Chicago has a "sister city" relationship with Mexico City. The state has an office located in the capital that assists small- and medium-sized Illinois businesses interested in entering the Mexican market.

The 2010 census shows more than 1.5 million Illinois residents -- or over 12 percent of the state's population-- are of Mexican origin.

During the event in Melrose Park on Tuesday, Quinn will present a report that analyzes state policies and programs geared to recently arrived immigrants to Illinois.

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