Pritzker on Davos: “Important For a Leader of Illinois to Show Up in Places Outside of Illinois”

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Departing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker said his goal was to make sure Illinois is “seen on the world stage.” Speaking to media in a phone conference, Pritzker responded to critics who claimed the trip to a billionaires playground was out of touch with the problems facing Illinois.

“We’re here to highlight, for the world, the state’s progress. The progress of building our economy, the progress of focus on fiscal responsibility, and, of course, the progress in development of clean energy,” Pritzker said. “It’s important for Illinois to be seen on the world stage as a destination for the companies that exist across the world. Some of them are already doing business in Illinois. Some of them are thinking about where they want to put their operations. That’s why it is important for a leader of Illinois to show up in places outside of Illinois. That’s how you attract business and let people know what a great state we really are.”

Asked what kind of business leaders he spoke with to pitch Illinois, Pritzker mentioned Microsoft, Nestle, and other Asian tech firms, battery manufacturers, and companies involved in the development of hydrogen energy.

“You collect [business] cards and take a lot of notes,” he said.

Pritzker also detailed a two-and-a-half hour road trip he made into Germany to meet with manufacturer Wieland, which recently acquired Olin Brass in East Alton.

“They have many other divisions, so bringing more of the rest of their company to Illinois is something I’d like to take advantage of,” he said.

Pritzker was asked who paid for the trip to Switzerland, and said he paid for most of the trip himself, but said taxpayers floated the bill for his Illinois State Police security detail. We asked his office earlier in the week if the Governor and his staff flew commercial or private and who paid for it, but they did not respond to our question.

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January 20, 2023 at 11:13PM

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