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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2012

Governor Quinn Announces Record High of Illinois Exports to Mexico
Calls Mexican Independence Day a time to honor a century of friendship, trade

CHICAGO, IL - September 15, 2012. On the eve of Mexican Independence Day, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois exports to Mexico in the first half of 2012 topped $3 billion - a 13.7 percent increase over the previous year and a new record high. The state’s robust trading relationship with Mexico has been enhanced by the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment in Mexico City, as well as a century-long tradition of friendship and trade between Illinois and Mexico. Illinois exports overall are at the highest level in a decade and today’s announcement is the latest step towards Governor Quinn’s goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2015.

“Illinois is home to world-class goods and services, and we should utilize all of our assets to get a competitive edge in global markets,” Governor Quinn said. “One of our most valuable resources is a centurylong tradition of friendship and trade with Mexico, which we honor on days such as Mexican Independence Day.”

Mexico has played a key role in Illinois’ rise in exports, with 20 percent growth in 2010 and 34 percent growth in 2011. In his push to increase trade, the Governor established a high-level Export Advisory Council comprised of the State’s top CEOs and private sector leaders to craft strategies for boosting exports, while serving as global ambassadors for the State.

Governor Quinn - who marched in the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Chicago’s La Villita last week - noted that Mexican immigration to Chicago began in earnest exactly 100 years ago. Illinois has enjoyed a strong relationship with places such as Michoacán, Monterrey and Mexico City, and these ties are translating into healthy trading opportunities.

The Illinois Office of Trade and Investment - located on Mexico City’s bustling Paseo de La Reforma - has been providing small and medium-sized Illinois businesses with expertise in all phases of export development as well as partner contacts in Mexico. The Office provides critical support to any Illinois business wanting to enter the Mexican market. In 2011, Mexico accounted for nearly 9 percent of Illinois’ total export portfolio with $5.7 billion in exports, and - in the post-NAFTA era - ranks second only to Canada as a trading partner. Exported goods to Mexico include machinery, agriculture products, electronics and chemicals.

The Mexican-origin population living and working in Illinois (1.6 million persons, or 12.5% of the State’s population, according to the 2010 Census) is also an important component in the commercial, investment, social and cultural relationship that generates economic benefits to both Illinois and Mexico. Further, some Illinois municipalities have established “sister city” relationships in Mexico as well: Naperville with Pátzcuaro, Michoacán; Highland Park with Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; Springfield with San Pedro de Las Colonias, Coahuila; Kankakee with Guanajuato, and Chicago with Mexico City.

Illinois continues to rank first in the Midwest for exports and was the sixth-largest U.S. exporting state in 2011. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at www.illinoisbiz.biz.



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