CHICAGO | The governor and Supreme Court president of a Mexican state and a 70-person orchestra are among dignitaries from the country set to visit Illinois next week as part of a trip to encourage trade between the two entities, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced Friday.
The visit will include a stop at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and a reception at the Governor's Mansion, both in Springfield.
In return, the orchestra of the State of Mexico — Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México — will play a free concert at a Chicago high school Monday. Also, university officials from the State of Mexico are expected to sign an agreement with Illinois and the University of Illinois to collaborate in the sciences, such as veterinary medicine and animal genetics.
Those expected to visit are State of Mexico Gov. Eruviel Ávila; chairman of the state's Congress, Aarón Urbina Bedolla; and Baruch Delgado Carbajal, chief justice of the State of Mexico's Supreme Court. The central State of Mexico is adjacent to Mexico City.
Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, billed the trip as a result of his visit last year to Mexico City and a way to celebrate the "friendship between Illinois and Mexico." He went to Mexico in April.
"My trade mission to Mexico strengthened ties with our sister state — especially in agriculture, water technology, manufacturing and tourism — and our relationship continues to grow," Quinn said in a statement.
Since 2010, Mexico has purchased $1.9 billion in agricultural products from Illinois, Quinn's office said.
The museum stop will include a re-enactment of the 1861 meeting in Springfield between a top Mexican official and then President-elect Lincoln.
In a statement, Avila said he was looking forward to seeing his friend, Quinn, and continuing discussions started last spring about increasing commerce and tourism between the two states.
Quinn was the first Illinois governor to visit Mexico in more than a dozen years.