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March 9, 2001

Gov. Ryan and President Kim Discuss Trade, Korean Relations -- Ryan honors Nobel Prize winner

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today welcomed President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea to Illinois and commended President Kim for his lifelong commitment to human rights.

Governor Ryan met first with President Kim in a private meeting and later addressed a group of 500 business leaders at a luncheon sponsored by the Mid America Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations. The two leaders also discussed a mutual desire to expand trade and Governor Ryan told President Kim he would explore a possible trade mission to South Korea.

"I'm proud to stand here today and recognize the President of the Republic of Korea - the emergence of this great leader gives hope for peace throughout the Korean Peninsula," said Governor Ryan. "As the leader of the Republic of Korea, President Kim has faced many obstacles in achieving prosperity for his constituents, but he has persevered.

"Korea is an important trading partner with the United States and especially with the state of Illinois. Currently, Korea is Illinois' 11th largest trading partner, and we are committed to working to further enhance this lucrative relationship," said Governor Ryan."

Between Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000, Illinois exports to the Republic of Korea increased 13.6 percent. In FY 2000, Illinois export figures to Korea totaled $821 million up from $723 million. Included among the top exports are: chemicals and allied products, electronic, industrial, computer and transportation equipment, and metal and rubber products.


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