Pro Mexico Office opening 2015Public officials from both sides of the border, individual business owners and members of the public gathered to celebrate the Nov. 23 opening of the Phoenix Office of Mexico’s national trade and foreign investment organization, ProMexico.

The diverse group on hand for the event, which included many leaders who worked several years to bring this to fruition, showed why now is the right time and Phoenix is the right place for a ProMexico office that will serve as the organization’s southwest U.S. hub.

The office opening signals that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto recognizes Arizona as a key partner in achieving prosperity. As our economic ties strengthen, so does our political relationship.

My heartfelt congratulations goes out to all who led and supported this effort including Gov. Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Arizona Commerce Authority CEO Sandra Watson, Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hammer, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gonzalo de la Melena and Margie Emmermann. Margie retired at the end of last year as executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, concluding two decades of service to the state on Mexico policy issues and diplomatic relations.

It is easy to see why these and so many other leaders put so much effort into opening this office and increasing our trade relationship with Mexico, our #1 trading partner. Having a ProMexico office here is justified by the current – and future – financial figures.

According the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona exports to Mexico in 2014 totaled $8.6 billion, representing 40 percent of the state’s total exports. The state also imported $7.3 billion worth of goods from Mexico last year. Combined, all Mexican visitors to Arizona spent $7.3 million per day.

Also, $41.6 billion worth of goods in two-way trade was processed by Arizona’s six ports of entry in 2014.

As if the obvious economic benefits weren’t clear enough already, these figures are projected to rise in the coming years as Mexico’s middle class grows and seeks travel, recreation and business opportunities. The country’s economy, ranked 14th largest in the world, is projected to grow to the seventh largest by 2050.

The opening of this office shows that Mexico sees Arizona as officially open for business. Mexican leaders keenly recognize the opportunities provided to both of our economies when trade corridors are open, infrastructure is in place and a partnering hand is outstretched.

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