SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford left Friday for a two-week trip to China to promote economic development.

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford left Friday for a two-week trip to China to promote economic development.


Rutherford is paying for his own flight to the country. The Chinese People’s Institute for Foreign Affairs is organizing arrangements for the visit.


Rutherford was international vice president for ServiceMaster and was responsible for the company expanding into overseas markets.  In that job, Rutherford visited China several times.


The purpose of the trip is to expand economic development opportunities and encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Illinois.


Rutherford will also meet with officials from Illinois-based companies with operations in China, such as Caterpillar.


A session between Rutherford and Chinese finance officials is also on the agenda.  China is the largest holder of U.S. debt.


Rutherford said he will remain in regular contact with his office while on the trip.