AZ Border Communities Roadmap Released

Arizona Border Communities Roadmap Released

Document outlines five game changers and a five-pronged response for border economies

PHOENIX – Governor Janice K. Brewer, together with four state agencies and several southern Arizona border communities, announces the release of the Border Communities Roadmap.

Announcing the Roadmap’s release, Governor Brewer said, “Expanding the capacity of our commercial ports of entry, strengthening our trade corridors, and developing a focused trade and transportation strategy for Arizona will foster job creation and attract new business and investment that will benefit the entire state.”

The Border Communities Roadmap is an initiative of Governor Brewer that examined and developed a strategic action plan with economic development priorities and policy direction to foster economic prosperity for Arizona’s border communities. The Roadmap process involved a collaborative effort between the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Office of Tourism working closely with the communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma.

As gateways, the Arizona border communities enable the flow of billions of dollars of trade and millions of cross-border travelers each year.

“Focusing on border communities’ assets and positioning them as a region will allow them to build stronger economies and compete with communities in Texas and California, thus capturing and growing Arizona’s share of cross-border trade and investment,” says Margie Emmermann, Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Five game-changers or significant shifts that are catalysts for new opportunities are presented:

  1. Build upon Arizona border community assets
  2. Form new strategic alliances
  3. Harness Mexican economic shifts
  4. Leverage key commercial corridors for market connectivity
  5. Support emerging business development opportunities

The document discusses each of the game-changers in depth and presents a five-pronged action response for border communities:

  1. Build a border business case. Arizona’s strategic position to Mexico’s growing economy is a major economic asset for each border community. Understanding the bi-national economy and communicating a strong business case is imperative for Arizona’s border communities to be successful.
  2. Enhance border economic viability. The Roadmap discusses building on community assets, developing the labor force needed to meet industry demand, and focusing on business sectors that align with the economic vision.
  3. Improve border community image. Marketing and communicating about the economic opportunity of Arizona’s border communities can help change the dialogue from its current focus on security to strategic positioning of the region for business development.
  4. Strengthen relationships and foster collaborations. A concerted and coordinated public/private relationship-building effort must occur at every level – local, regional, state, and national. The Roadmap calls for the establishment of a “Border Brain Trust” – state agencies in partnership with the border communities – to move the strategic action plan forward.
  5. Focus on border infrastructure that links border communities to key commerce corridors and promotes global connectivity. Enhancing competitiveness and sustainable economic growth requires an efficient multi-modal transportation system and adequate infrastructure to meet current and projected demand.

The Border Communities Roadmap can be downloaded from the website http://www.azmc.org/border-roadmap or for more information about the project contact Chris Stoller at 602-542-1287.

Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance strategic road map nears completion

Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance strategic road map nears completion

Steering Committee focuses on job growth, trade, economic development

PHOENIX — A yearlong effort to establish the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance strategic road map is entering the final phase, as key leaders met in Phoenix on Nov. 26 to talk about the finishing touches and the goal to finalize the road map by early 2014.

The final TTCA Steering Committee meeting of 2013 brought together leaders from Arizona’s transportation, trade and commerce industries, along with international entities. This past year, the committee has been working on developing a robust business and transportation plan for Arizona that will be laid out in a road map outlining the statewide vision.

“Remember what we are doing here — tying together economic development and transportation in order to promote trade and investment,” said John Halikowski, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. “If it was easy, everyone in the world would be doing it well. But it isn’t easy, and we are trying to lead the way in Arizona with a new way of thinking.”

Halikowski co-chairs the TTCA Steering Committee with former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe. TTCA leadership also includes Margie Emmermann, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission; Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority; and Michael Hunter, director of policy and the special advisor on tax policy and reform for the Office of Governor Jan Brewer. Other leaders from the transportation and business communities head up the five TTCA subcommittees: Freight; Trade and Economic Development; Education and Communication; Logistics and Supply Chain Development; and Mexico and Ports of Entry.

The TTCA road map has become the guiding document for the areas where ADOT, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Arizona Commerce Authority come together. The agencies have one major goal: job creation and economic vitality through investment in transportation infrastructure and connections to regional and global trade corridors. It’s no small task, which requires not only a vision, but a collaboration of leaders and stakeholders who believe in that vision and work toward its reality.

“The road map provides an important tool for policy makers and implementers alike for charting Arizona’s economic future,” said Kolbe. “Used wisely, it can guide decision makers on the path toward improved infrastructure, increased trade and economic prosperity for our state.”

Capturing the road map’s vision means looking ahead to three major goals:

  • Refocusing Arizona on the core economic foundations of an export-based economy.
  • Moving Arizona toward a more globally competitive second century focused on trade, investment and infrastructure that bring new wealth and jobs to our state.
  • Ensuring that infrastructure supports and facilitates Arizona’s economic goals.

“By strengthening investment and looking at the opportunities for importing and exporting, we can work on job creation,” Halikowski said.

TTCA leaders have determined that there are four pivot points, or key actions, that can improve the Arizona economy and enhance opportunities for export-driven growth. It begins with increasing trade and investment, which leads to improving connectivity to markets, which spurs high-value production, which ensures the alignment of actions. Each of these four pivot points filters into the next, creating a flow of economic development in Arizona.

Add to that a 20-year plan for infrastructure investment that will enhance connections to major domestic markets in southern California and central Texas and improve border crossings for commerce flow with emerging markets in Mexico. Ultimately infrastructure investments will create strong north-south and east-west trade flows and secure Arizona’s position in a strong global economy.

“We are in the middle of a vibrant regional economy with southern California, Texas and Mexico all around us,” said Gail Lewis, ADOT’s director of international affairs and public-private partnership initiatives. “We’re sitting in an area that continues to grow very rapidly. We’re very well positioned and we have a solid base, but we really need to pivot toward the basket to make the best shot.”

The TTCA road map outlines eight recommendations that will set Arizona in motion for success in a globally competitive economy:

Support Key Commerce Corridors, the 20-year infrastructure investment plan

  • Focus on base industries as the core of the economy
  • Improve the links among highways, rail, air and sea as transportation connectors
  • Improve Arizona’s supply chain opportunities
  • Strengthen the Arizona brand as an investment location, particularly for foreign direct investment
  • Establish a partnership with Western Mexico to keep trade flowing into Arizona from our historic strong trading partners
  • Develop ideas for an era of reduced transportation funding
  • Double Arizona’s exports to Mexico by 2020

As Arizona sets out on the path to a vibrant economic future and global competitiveness, TTCA leaders emphasized that this is a plan that will be important to everyone who lives, works and plays in our state. Why is this relevant to the man or woman on the street? It’s all about jobs,” said Bruce Wright, associate vice president for University Research Parks at the University of Arizona and a member of the TTCA. “The end goal is to position us in the global economy so we are competitive, we are engaged.”

To view the original article, please click HERE.

$457,000 Grant Awarded to Consortium for Border Technology Manufacturing

For Immediate Release

October 4, 2013

Media inquiries
Jessa B. Turner | Tech Parks Arizona | (520) 382-2485 | jbturner@uatechpark.org
Laura Shaw | Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities | (520) 609-5972 |  laura.shaw@treoaz.org
Jim Mize |Pima County One-Stop | (520) 243-6703 | jim.mize@pima.gov
Patricia A. Sullivan| New Mexico State University | (575) 646-2913|patsulli@nmsu.edu
Jennifer Sinsabaugh | New Mexico MEP | (505) 262-0921 | jennifers@newmexicomep.org
Marisa Walker | Arizona Commerce Authority | (602) 845-1297 | marisaw@azcommerce.com

$457,000 Grant Awarded to Consortium for Border Technology Manufacturing

 (Tucson, Arizona) — Innovation Frontier Southwest (IFS) was awarded a grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration for $457,000 to develop a strategic plan for manufacturing in the southern Arizona and New Mexico region. The grant was awarded as part of the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP), an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and create jobs in cities across the country.

The Border Technology Manufacturing Initiative, the project developed by IFS, is a collaborative effort among government, academia and industry to build a regional strategy for manufacturing, utilizing the region’s strength in border technology. The grant is designed as a series of targeted studies that will allow the region to determine current assets and deficits. It will incorporate infrastructure, workforce, research and policy in its analysis. IFS will use the data to address and develop a strategic plan. This grant is pivotal to the next round of grant funding expected later this year.

Innovation Frontier Southwest is a collaboration of the following partners:

•             Tech Parks Arizona, The University of Arizona
•             Pima County
•             Arizona Commerce Authority
•             City of Tucson
•             Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation
•             New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
•             New Mexico State University Engineering New Mexico Resource Network
•             Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO)

The grant was announced by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Acting Small Business Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit.  The $7 million in grants and other investments are the first round of funding in a major reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain, and expand investment in manufacturing and spur international trade and exports. These grants and investments will help communities develop plans to build strengths in specific industries through:

•       Workforce training
•       Specialized research
•       Strengthened supply chains
•       Improved transportation and energy infrastructure
•       Export promotion
•       Better access to capital

Grants and investments awarded in 2013 will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched in fall 2013 and awarded in the spring of 2014.  In the 2014 Challenge competition, the Administration will designate stand-out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government. Moreover, top “Manufacturing Communities” may receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance – in partnership with industry and localities – substantial economic development investments such as workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.

For more information on the entire IMCP, please visit http://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2013/04/17/fact-sheet-investing-manufacturing-communities-partnership

ADOT, Arizona-Mexico Commission Coordinate Trade Efforts with Mexico Meetings with leaders in Mexico City solidify cross-border relationships

ADOT, Arizona-Mexico Commission Coordinate Trade Efforts with Mexico

Meetings with leaders in Mexico City solidify cross-border relationships
September 03, 2013

PHOENIX – In a series of meetings with Mexican leaders in Mexico City this month, Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski and other state officials strengthened relationships and discussed ways to improve cross-border traffic, supporting enhanced commercial corridors.

In an unprecedented meeting with an Arizona delegation, a joint meeting of both senators and deputies in a Mexican senate conference room served to ensure a fully coordinated approach to issues of key interest. From that meeting, Mexican officials pledged to initiate a meeting in Sonora in the coming weeks to review the various projects needed for the Mexican side of the corridor to match improvements made or underway to the U.S. side of the ports of entry. This meeting will also include discussion of the need to provide more efficient enforcement within key trade corridors that improves security without unnecessarily discouraging trade.

The partnership with Mexico extends beyond the border. In meetings with Mexican leaders in Mexico City, Halikowski and the Governor’s Policy Advisor for Mexico Margie Emmermann, who is also the executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, stressed the need for binational cooperation and coordination on issues such as security, shared investments, rail, commercial enhancements and deep-water port expansion.

The group had meetings with some of the top leaders in Mexico City, including the senator Ernesto Gandara Camou, who chairs the Senate’s Commerce and Industrial Development Committee, and Manlio Fabio Beltrones, the deputy who leads the coalition of ruling parties in the Chamber of Deputies and is the former Governor of the state of Sonora.

“We extended the level of understanding and cooperation between our two countries. We wanted to meet with the decision makers, those leaders who will be instrumental in helping to advance the cause of cross-border coordination, investment and trade,” Halikowski said. “Forging working relationships with key members of the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto was one of our key objectives and I know we accomplished that.”

Mexico is a critical partner with Arizona, with $13.2 billion in bilateral trade occurring annually. That translates to 754,000 commercial trucks and 1,300 trains crossing the border each year – in addition to 15 million cars and 42.4 million people who crossed the border in 2012. As a result, mobility between Arizona and Mexico, as well as security, are critical issues.

Over the past six years, $450 million has been invested in improving border infrastructure in Arizona, including improvements to the ports of entry and adjacent roadways that support the efficient movement of commercial and non-commercial traffic. Currently, a $225 million project is underway by the U.S. General Services Administration to modernize and expand the Mariposa Port of Entry to speed the processing of commercial traffic between Mexico and the United States. These improvements include 12 vehicle lanes, eight commercial vehicle lanes, and facilities for buses and pedestrians. In addition to improvements at the port of entry, ADOT has invested $20 million in the area’s transportation infrastructure and is continuing to make additional improvements.

To view the original press release, please click HERE.

Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session

Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together
at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session:
“Arizona & Sonora: Advancing Regional Competitiveness”

PHOENIX, Ariz. – As the global economy continues to evolve, the Arizona-Sonora region must work collaboratively to remain competitive. This was the overarching message at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s 2013 AMC Summer Plenary Session.  During the event, Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías reiterated their commitment to promoting economic prosperity for the region through mutual collaboration.

Much of the Plenary Session included dialogue about the strategic positioning of Arizona and Sonora as an economic mega-region.  “The stakes are clear,” said Governor Brewer, as she addressed the nearly 350 attendees of the plenary session. “If we fail to act, I can guarantee you that our competitors will act. Trade and investment — and jobs – will flow elsewhere.”

The cross-border flow of commerce is an essential component of our region’s economic prosperity. Arizona company executives learned firsthand how establishing a presence for their organizations in Mexico could be a major opportunity on which to capitalize. One forum, “Mexico: Business Opportunities in a Growing Market,” included presentations from Christopher Wilson from the Woodrow Wilson Center, Juan Carlos Briseño from ProMexico, and various representatives from programs available to assist companies entering a foreign market.  The audience also heard testimonies from Arizona companies who have successfully entered the Mexican market, allowing them to gain insight directly from success stories.

Governor Brewer and Governor Padrés also joined mayors, business leaders and government officials to hear from Michael Gallis, an expert in long-term, “big-picture” regional planning. Mr. Gallis addressed the strengths of the Arizona-Sonora region and corridors, as well as the region’s future outlook in light of emerging global trade patterns.

“Global competition is fierce.  There will always be more to do,” stated Governor Brewer. “But by coordinating with our friends to the south, and by thinking of our two states as a strong economic region, we can maximize opportunities on both sides of the border.”

Electronic Validation of Student Education Records:

This year’s plenary included the signing of one memorandum of understanding (MOU) as well as three declarations of cooperation.  The MOU was signed by Governors Brewer and Padrés through the Arizona Department of Education and the State of Sonora’s Department of Education. It is an agreement between the two states to pursue the establishment of an electronic records transfer system for the purpose of securely and promptly transmitting official school transcripts and other educational records between schools in the states of Arizona and Sonora for students in grades K-12.

In addition to the MOU, there were three joint declarations signed.

Binational Electric Transmission Opportunities:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between the State of Arizona, through the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy and the State of Sonora, Department of Energy, to recognize that bi-national electric transmission opportunities have opened between the two states.
  • Agreement declares the intent to pursue a vision of the two states as a region with shared energy resources consisting of traditional and renewable energies that may bolster a common energy market along the border that may improve the region’s quality of life and energy assurance options.

Arizona-Sonora Border Master Plan:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between State of Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Transportation and the State of Sonora, through the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Urban Development, for the Arizona-Sonora Border Master Plan.
  • The Master Plan will serve as a guide to form the regional plan for Sonora and Arizona for the advancement of infrastructure priorities and for the promotion of trade, tourism and commerce.

Motor Vehicle Infant and Child Restraint Education Program:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between the government of the State of Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Government of the State of Sonora, through the Secretary of Public Health to educate the public about the importance of properly restraining infants and children when riding in motor vehicles.
  • Collections of car seats will be held throughout communities in Arizona.  Those collected donations will be tested for safety and donated to the Sonoran Department of Public Health.

The two-day event also continued the annual tradition of donations from Arizona to Sonora.  Rural/Metro and its subsidiary, PMT Ambulance, donated two ambulances to the state of Sonora, marking the eighth year that the donation has been made.  The ambulance donated by PMT was gifted to the City of Cananea while Sonora’s Secretary of Health accepted the ambulance from Rural/Metro Corporation.  Westech Recyclers also donated refurbished computers to Sonora’s Secretary of Education for the fourth consecutive year, totaling over 3,000 computers to date.  The computers came preloaded with software in Spanish, and are ready to aid students in their educational endeavors.  Lastly, Solomon Technology Solutions graciously donated a STACS system – a universal communications device – to the State of Sonora’s Department of Emergency Management.

As part of the Plenary Session, 14 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region.  The Health Committee will promote a bi-national educational effort to prevent teen pregnancy by creating working workshops, programs, and informational material. The Education Committee will continue to advance the work of the MOU signed today and facilitate the integration of primary and secondary education students returning to Sonora from the U.S., by implementing an electronic validation of student records.

Those who have contributed to advancing Arizona’s economic opportunities were recognized by the AMC during the conference.  This year, the AMC awarded the Paul J. Fannin Award to Westech Recyclers for their commitment to the advancement of education and workforce development in the Arizona-Sonora region.  The Tony Certósimo Award was presented to James B. Manson for his personal commitment to fostering improved relations with Mexico for many years, which embodies what the AMC and the Tony Certósimo award is all about.  Lastly, the Andy Nichols Award was given to the Tohono O’odham Nation for the work they have done on public health issues such as obesity prevention, diabetes, demand reduction of drugs, teen pregnancy prevention, and infectious disease surveillance, to name a few.

More than 400 people from the U.S. and Mexico came together to promote the shared interests of the region at the AMC Plenary Session. The result will certainly contribute to the long-standing tradition of the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s record of promoting mutual prosperity and enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Arizona and Sonora.

Click HERE for a copy of the press release

Public Notice of TTCA Listening Session

TTCA with text

Public Notice

What: Transportation & Trade Corridor Alliance Public Listening Session
Ports of Entry and Mexico Committee
Education and Communication Committee

When: April 24, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Where: Pima Community College Downtown Campus, Amethyst Room
1255 N. Stone Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85709

Who: The Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, Ports of Entry and Mexico Co-Chairs – James B. Manson and Margie Emmermann – invite all those interested in the importance of the border and proximity to Mexico as an asset to Arizona to attend this listening session and provide their insights, ideas and comments.  Participants are also invited to provide their ideas to guide the TTCA in its strategic communications and public outreach activities. These comments will be considered by the Committee for writing the Ports of Entry and Mexico Roadmap Chapter discussed below.

How: Public testimony will be heard from 10:00 to 11:30 followed by a facilitated dialogue based on those testimonies from 11:30 to 12:30.

Please be prepared with a presentation no longer than five minutes.  You may submit a one-page document providing further thoughts and background information at the time of the meeting or online at www.azttca.org

Background:

The purpose of the “Transportation, Trade and Global Competitiveness Roadmap” is to define a statewide vision that contributes to an economic development and jobs agenda. Each chapter of the “Roadmap” will be developed by committees as assigned by the Transportation and Corridor Alliance (TTCA) including Freight, Trade and Economic Development, Logistics, Supply Chain Development and Regional Sourcing, Mexico and Ports of Entry, and Education and Communication.

The Mexico and Ports of Entry committee will be writing a chapter for the Roadmap that will:

  • Communicate the importance of the border and proximity to Mexico as an asset for Arizona.
  • Provide guidance and suggestions to state agencies on how to improve the border crossing process for businesses and individual crossers.
  • Suggest strategies for improving physical infrastructure at and near the border, including process improvements and the use of technology and smart transportation tools.

*** Contact Chris Stoller at cstoller@az.gov or (602) 542-1287 for any questions.

Click HERE to download the public notice.

Arizona’s Top Celebrity Chefs Participated in Sonora, Mexico Charity Event

Arizona’s Top Celebrity Chefs Participated in Sonora, Mexico Charity Event
Event Brings Awareness to Valued Cross-Border Trade, Tourism Partnerships

PHOENIX – In recognition of Arizona’s long-standing relationship with Mexico, four of Arizona’s top chefs participated in Cena con el Chef (Dinner with the Chef), a Celebrity Chef Dinner and Raffle to raise funds for the State of Sonora’s Sistema de Desarrollo Integral para la Familia (Integral Family Development), or DIF Sonora. More specifically, the proceeds from the event benefit Manos A La Vida (Hands to Life), a community center focused on providing  occupational workshops for people with autism, down syndrome and intellectual disabilities – the first in Sonora.

DIF is a Mexican government institution dedicated to strengthening family welfare through public policy, government programs, and political advocacy. With more than 80 years of history, DIF has an established presence in every state of Mexico, spreading its vision of social assistance as a tool for inclusion, prevention, and social responsibility.

The Cena con el Chef dinner was held Friday, March 1, 2013 at La Cascada in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.  An estimated 600 people attended the event.  Arizona Celebrity Chefs Michael Cairns (Montelucia Resort & Spa), Lee Hillson (The Phoenician Resort & Spa), Robert Madrid (The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa), and Mel Mecinas (Four Seasons Resort) donated their time and skills to the important cause.

The President of DIF Sonora and First Lady of the State of Sonora, Iveth Dagnino de Padrés, hosted the dinner. The Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and the Arizona Office of Tourism collaborated with the State of Sonora on the event.

“Arizona’s ability to participate in the Cena con el Chef event is a true testimony of the relationship between our two states and it was a privilege to be able to help our neighbors in such a worthy cause,” said Margie Emmermann, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. “Continuing to forge the partnership between Arizona and Sonora is vital not only for economic reasons, but for the continued advancement in our region’s quality of life.”

Attendees were treated to pre-dinner cocktails and hors d-oeuvres followed by a culinary extravaganza of Arizona chef recipes. The night was closed by a raffle of many items donated by Arizona businesses and organizations.

“It was an honor to be part of this charity event,” said Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “As one of Arizona’s top international visitor markets, Mexico is one of our most valued partners. It’s through these types of community events that we can continue to build upon partnerships that promote our two regions.”

While the chefs were in Sonora, they were featured on local television programs and newspapers promoting not only the event, but also their talents and the resort properties at which they work.

“This experience has motivated me to not only support DIF, but to help bring awareness to Arizonans of the Manos A La Vida center as well as the importance of economic trade between our states through tourism and trade defusing any negative perception of the state of Sonora and the country of Mexico,” said Chef Cairns. “The efforts of all involved resulted in relationships, friendships and memories that will last a life time. Having been in this business for more than thirty years, an event like this reminds me of the foundation of hospitality: kindness in welcoming strangers. The entire team did this on both sides of the border.”

For more information, contact Chris Stoller at the Arizona-Mexico Commission at cstoller@az.gov.

Leaders meet to discuss Arizona’s role in global marketplace

As the World Trades: Arizona’s Place in the Global Economy
Leaders meet to discuss Arizona’s role in global marketplace
Arizona-Mexico Commission holds global economy forum in Phoenix

 PHOENIX — More than 150 leaders from Arizona’s transportation, trade and commerce industries came together with international entities last week to discuss Arizona’s stake in the global marketplace and the changes that must come to encourage international trade in the state.

The Arizona-Mexico Commission, in partnership with the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA)– a formed partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Arizona Commerce Authority – hosted a global trade forum on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 in downtown Phoenix. The “As the World Trades: Arizona’s Place in the Global Economy” event brought together leaders from the state’s transportation and trade industries, along with a visit from Governor Jan Brewer, who stressed the importance of securing Arizona’s role in a global economy.

“I tasked the Alliance with developing a roadmap that would guide Arizona’s development of trade and transportation corridors for the next generation,” said Governor Brewer. “Even more simply, this effort is about two words: jobs and the economy. The stakes have never been higher. With growing global and regional competition and a fully interconnected world, we must be proactive or we will simply watch the world pass us by.”

The interactive forum was moderated by Todd Sanders, President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and offered insights from the following panelists: Jim Kolbe, former US Congressman; John Halikowski, Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation; Gene Seroka, President of the Americas for APL Limited; Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority; and Bruce Wright, Associate Vice-President for University Research Parks at the University of Arizona.  The forum focused primarily on the trade relationship with Mexico – Arizona’s neighbor to the south and the 14th largest economy in the world – and provided discussion and dialogue about the importance of being able to expand the throughput of trade across our ports of entry in order to remain competitive with other markets.

Last year, Arizona exported $18 billion in goods – over $6 billion to Mexico alone – and touted more than 500,000 businesses statewide. But for trade and the economy to grow, so must the state’s transportation infrastructure that carries people, goods and services. TTCA Co-Chair and ADOT Director John Halikowski acknowledged the infrastructure investment that must be made now to carry our state forward – an investment amid funding challenges and an 18-cent gas tax that has not been increased since 1992.

“If I had one wish, it would be to get the public to understand that transportation infrastructure investment is a wise use of our money,” said Halikowski. “We need to collaborate to solve the funding problem. Arizona is positioned to be a major transportation hub with its proximity to Mexico, Texas and California. We must invest in our state now while continuing to pursue transportation and trade corridors through projects like Interstate 11, intercity passenger rail, the North/South Freeway and the Border Master Plan.”

Former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe, who is a recognized expert in trade issues, is co-chair of the TTCA, which is expected to present a report to Governor Brewer this fall with recommendations on how to advance Arizona’s trade relationships.

“Arizona has geographic advantages being positioned closely to Mexico, California, Texas and Canada. We are surrounded by big economies,” Kolbe said. “We have longtime ties to Mexico, we have tourism and land ownership, and we have a good business climate that is conducive to investment. But there are challenges ahead. The new Panama Canal expansion is going to change the trade paths in the United States and could bypass Arizona. Our state lacks good border infrastructure. But the biggest problem is the lack of a united front by political and commerce leaders to unify this state when it comes to trade and transportation improvements.”

For more information about the AMC, visit www.azmc.org or visit www.azttca.org for information about the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance.

Governor Announces Border Region Roadmap Project

Governor Announces Border Region Roadmap Project
An essential tool for border communities in their long-term planning
and economic strategy

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer’s Four Cornerstones of Reform policy agenda highlights the importance of economic development near the southern border. Specifically, the Governor stresses the need for continuous collaboration between local communities to ensure that growth maximizes trade and minimizes negative impacts on affected communities.

The Arizona Border Communities Roadmap is a collaborative effort between the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Office of Tourism. The project’s mission is to identify, prioritize and advance policy and strategic action focusing on the economic development opportunities of the communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma.

Mexico is Arizona’s top trading partner, supporting millions of jobs in the U.S. and Arizona, 114,000 in Arizona alone. Mexican visitors spend approximately $7.3 million each day in Arizona, pumping $2.3 billion annually into the State economy. According to Margie Emmermann, Arizona-Mexico Commission Director, “Arizona’s economy benefits tremendously from a strong relationship with Mexico. However, much of the economic activity and traffic occurs in Arizona’s border communities – Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma. Ensuring their economic viability and sustainability is critical to Arizona.”

During the June 2011 Plenary Session of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, a series of meetings were held with Governor Brewer to discuss the needs of border communities. The AMC has been working collaboratively with other state agencies to advance the topics addressed as priority needs in the border region. On January 25, 2012, the Arizona border community leaders discussed the following fundamental questions:

  1. What makes border communities different from other rural communities?
  2. What are the unique needs to make border communities sustainable?
  3. What needs to be done to address these different needs of border communities?
  4. What are the priorities to move border communities toward sustainability?

From that dialogue, members agreed to develop a border region economic roadmap that outlines the strategic investments that will lead to sustained economic success in Arizona’s border communities. The project includes documenting border communities’ assets, examining best practices, developing an economic vision and defining the strategic action. The process is intended to produce preliminary recommendations in June 2013 with the final document by September.

Please visit the Border Roadmap website by clicking here.

D-backs contingent to visit Hermosillo, Mexico this week for Caribbean Series

D-backs contingent to visit Hermosillo, Mexico this week for Caribbean Series

Youth clinic, ceremonial first pitches and news conference to highlight club’s second trip to Mexico in five months

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) announced that a contingent of executives will travel to Hermosillo, Mexico this week to take part in various events surrounding the 2013 Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series). Among those in attendance will be President & CEO Derrick Hall (@DHallDbacks), Executive Vice President Tom Harris, Sr. Vice President Josh Rawitch and Special Assistant to the President & CEO, D-backs legend Luis Gonzalez.

“Hermosillo is the center of the baseball world this week and the D-backs are excited to be a part of the Caribbean Series and get our first complete look at Estadio Sonora,” said Hall, who advised on the new stadium project. “With the World Baseball Classic just over a month away at Chase Field and Salt River Fields, this trip will also give us an opportunity remind all of the baseball fans in Mexico of the opportunity they have coming up to travel to Arizona and watch Team Mexico play.”

This morning, the D-backs and the Arizona Mexico Commission will jointly host a clinic for 50 youngsters at Estadio Mundialistas Hermosillenses, led by Gonzalez. Each participant will receive a D-backs hat and T-shirt at the clinic.

Tomorrow, Gonzalez will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the 4 p.m. MT game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela and on Wednesday, Hall will have that honor before the game between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

On Wednesday afternoon, (approximately 5:00 p.m. MT), the D-backs will host a news conference at Estadio Sonora, the new ballpark that was inaugurated for the Caribbean Series after the D-backs consulted on the planning and construction. The ballpark includes several features that resemble the award-winning Spring Training home of the D-backs, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

The D-backs have a long-standing history in Hermosillo, having played exhibition games there each spring from 2008-10. The team’s Spanish-language broadcaster, Oscar Soria, will call the play-by-play of the Caribbean Series while fellow broadcaster Richard Saenz will also take part in the club’s visit. Saenz joined Hall, Gonzalez, Rawitch and General Manager Kevin Towers on a visit to Sonora in October, when the D-backs met with several key Sonoran officials and took part in Opening Night ceremonies for the Hermosillo Naranjeros of the Mexican Winter League.

The World Baseball Classic comes to Phoenix from March 7-10, with several opportunities to see Team USA, Team Mexico, Team Canada and Team Italy.

The D-backs will host Team Mexico in an exhibition game at Salt River Fields on March 5 at 7:10 p.m. MT. The first official game for Team Mexico will take place on March 7 at 1:10 p.m. MT vs. Team Italy and on March 8 at 7:10 p.m. MT, Team USA will host Team Mexico at Chase Field. On March 9, Team Mexico will play Team Canada at Salt River Fields at 12:30 p.m. MT and that evening, Team USA will host Team Italy at Chase Field. The finale of the first round of the WBC will be on March 10 when Team USA plays Team Canada at 1 p.m. MT at Chase Field.