State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is taking his campaign for governor to Asia this week.
Rutherford is on a six-day junket to South Korea, sponsored by that country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to drum up business for Illinois.
His trip will include visits with Illinois troops stationed in South Korea, a visit to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, a gathering in Seoul with alumni from various Illinois universities, events with Chicago’s sister city, Busan, and meetings regarding Smart Grid technology with the Korean Smart Grid Institute.
Rutherford will be accompanied by Steve Kim, a Korean-American attorney who ran against Lisa Madigan for attorney general as a Republican in 2010.
“I am enthused about this trip because of our opportunity to promote Illinois with this trading partner. Building relationships with small and medium sized Korean businesses is key. The potential for mutual benefits between Illinois and these partners is vast,” said Kim.
During the trip, Rutherford will try to persuade a South Korean energy solutions company to expand to Central Illinois. Illinois exports more than $800 million a year to South Korea, but a free trade agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration gives Rutherford the opportunity to encourage the country to import more products from our state.
“This trip is a great opportunity to enhance the economic and political ties between Illinois and South Korea,” Rutherford said.
Korean-Americans are also an important voting bloc on the Northwest Side of Chicago and in the northwest suburbs, making up around 5 percent of the population in Northbrook, Glenview
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