ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Gov. Mario Cuomo still insists he's not a candidate for president, but he's willing to boost New York by appearing in television advertisements airing in Illinois, California and other major states.

Cuomo said Friday that he's willing to do TV ads promoting New York state as a place to visit and do business, if his economic development czar tells him it's a good idea. The Democratic governor rejected the proposal last year.

Vincent Tese, Cuomo's director of economic development, said he's inclined to OK the promotion project after a quick study by his tourism promotion staff. Tese said he'll give the governor an answer within a few weeks.

Cuomo's willingness to do such advertisements was made public when his office released an exchange of letters between the governor and officials from New York's tourism industry.

Tese said that while some people might view the ads as an attempt to promote Cuomo nationally, the spots would really be designed to boost New York.

''The governor has said he's not running, so why deprive the state of its best salesman?'' reasoned Tese.

Cuomo announced in February that he would not seek the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, but speculation has continued about his presidential aspirations.

Cuomo has just returned from a one-week trip to the Soviet Union. He will be in Washington, D.C., next week to address the Council on Foreign Relations and return the following week to speak at a Hispanic Family Conference.

Cuomo press secretary Gary Fryer said the governor would also be speaking at a fund-raising event for Arizona Democrats in late October and might do a similar event in Pennsylvania in November.

Edward Lurie, director of the New York state Republican Committee, said he was concerned that Cuomo might be attempting ''to run a campaign at taxpayers' expense'' with such ads, but said such advertising can be a good idea.