SEPTEMBER 2015 — Cities that can compete in the 21st century economy have something in common: they’re global. That’s why in Phoenix we’ve pushed harder than ever to rebuild relationships with Mexico, increase exports and create more jobs through trade. And our hard work is paying off.
The day after I returned from Sonora, Mexico to celebrate the inauguration of Governor Claudia Pavlovich, we announced our own reason to celebrate: ProMexico will open a trade office in Phoenix.
ProMexico is the Mexican government’s global economic development agency. It promotes Mexican trade interests and encourages exports by helping companies do business internationally – and now it will serve as a resource to Arizona companies in the global marketplace.
This is a big step forward for our economy, and also symbolically for our relationship with our largest trading partner and neighbor. The Mexican government is now investing directly in our state’s economy. That is a turning point for our relationship which, frankly, suffered amidst our state’s past political divisiveness. From 2007 to 2012, Arizona was the only state to see its exports fall – and so far this year, Phoenix has the biggest increase in export value of any U.S. city.
Our focused efforts to rebuild relationships has been a big part of that progress. So has establishing a permanent presence in Mexico: ProMexico will work with the trade office we opened last year in Mexico City to get Arizona businesses connected to the resources they need.
To help grow exports in both directions and attract new investment, the ProMexico office will also work with companies that have only recently entered the international market. This is especially good news for companies participating in Phoenix’s ExporTech.
We launched this unique export readiness boot camp last year to lift local businesses and help them go from “export curious” to “export serious.” Of the first seven companies to complete the courses, four are exploring export opportunities to Mexico. And eight more companies – including manufacturers, a sport training enterprise and an engineering firm – are enrolled in the second round of courses. ProMexico will now be an important resource to connect ExporTech graduates with business opportunities across the border.
Getting companies prepared with the right tools to export goods and services is critical to reaching our goal of doubling exports by 2020. It’s an ambitious goal, but I know we can get there. A more innovative export-based economy is sustainable – it creates quality jobs, and it’s good for every Phoenix family.