Governor Jan Brewer to attend Arizona-Mexico Commission Plenary Session in Hermosillo, Sonora

Governor Jan Brewer to attend Arizona-Mexico Commission Plenary Session in Hermosillo, Sonora

“Energy Transforms Arizona and Sonora”

Governor Janice K. Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías of Sonora, Mexico will unite in Hermosillo, Sonora at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s (AMC) Annual Fall/Winter Plenary Session.  The event is held twice a year, once in Arizona during the summer months and again in Sonora during the fall/winter season.  The plenary sessions serve as important forums for promoting international collaboration between the two states. The governors will meet with Arizonan and Sonoran elected officials and business leaders to discuss cross-border opportunities for economic advancement.

WHAT: Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Fall/Winter Plenary Session
THEME: Energy Transforms Arizona & Sonora
DATE: February 6-7, 2014
LOCATION: Hotel Fiesta Americana, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
PARTICIPANTS: Elected officials; local stakeholders; border leaders; business leaders

Our annual plenary sessions bring together nearly 400 people to connect communities, promote business and discuss state policy to enhance the economy and quality of life in the Arizona and Sonora region.  At this year’s session, both states will review the status of Arizona and Mexico’s relationship – including the States’ progress on prior cross-border agreements and recommendations from the bi-national committees.

MEDIA EVENTS:

  • Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – “One Region, Many Business Opportunities” Forum (Sonora Room)
  • Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – AMC Committee Meetings
  • Friday, 3:00 p.m. – Plenary Session in which Gov. Brewer and Gov. Padres will give remarks and discuss action items for our 14 bi-national committees (Sonora Room)
  • Friday, 4:45 p.m. – Media availability with Gov. Brewer & Gov. Padres (Fiesta Palace Room)

For more information on any of these events, please visit www.azmc.org/events

To register as a media attendee, please complete THIS registration form or contact Chris Stoller, Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives for the Arizona-Mexico Commission, at (602) 542-1287, or via e-mail at cstoller@az.gov

Click HERE for a copy of this media advisory.

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.

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.

NACTS Releases Conference Report on U.S.-Mexico Trade

The North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) at Arizona State University, in partnership with the United States Department of Commerce, held the inaugural conference “Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education and Jobs” on September 23-25, 2012 at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona. Throughout three days of discussion panels, private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Mexico met to discuss current issues regarding the almost 2,000-mile-long border that unites both countries. Guest speakers such as Rep. Henry Cuellar, 28th District of Texas; Mayor Greg Stanton, City of Phoenix; Rep. Raúl Grijalva, 7th District of Arizona; and Gov. Susana Martínez, New Mexico highlighted the importance of the U.S. relationship with Mexico and called for cooperation from both countries to improve the border region and focus on the important issues such as trade, education and jobs.

Read the entire report here.

PRINCIPAL CONFERENCE TAKEAWAYS
1. We cannot afford to continue to be ignorant about our important commercial relationship with Mexico.
One of the most profound takeaways is that, as ASU President Michael Crow insisted upon, we remain “purposefully ignorant” about the enormously important commercial relationship the United States enjoys with Mexico. This ignorance is a critical weakness that prevents us from gaining even greater economic benefits from this relationship. With unemployment still at unacceptably high levels and the global economy experiencing ever-changing balances of power, we need to focus on what works.
2. U.S. global competitiveness depends on a strong Mexico.
The intense and highly collaborative nature of our bilateral commerce, including our highly integrated supply chains and joint production, means that what is good for Mexico is in large part good for the United States.
3. There is remarkable multi-partisan support for increasing bilateral trade.
Representatives from across the political spectrum in both nations insisted on the importance of binational trade, demonstrating that the possibility for agreement and moving forward on key issues related to trade already exists.
4. We have congested ports of entry that need major attention.
With waits for both commercial and passenger vehicles often reaching multiple hours, congested border crossings are a key impediment to trade and raise the cost of North American supply chains, which are critical for the competitiveness of U.S. and Mexican firms.
5. Local communities have a very important role in international trade (and some power as well).
International relations can often seem quite distant from the concerns and input of everyday people particularly people living in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Recognizing the often extraordinary leadership that local elected border officials exercise in what are essentially complex international/crossborder affairs, mayors in the border region tend to stand out for their strong efforts and perspectives. These
efforts can and do have a positive impact on bilateral relations.
6. You have to invest (in infrastructure) in order to profit from trade…and there are a number of investment options.
In an era of acute fiscal constraints, there is an emerging consensus on the importance of public-private partnerships as a way of identifying and tapping revenue streams available to finance and operate new modern ports of entry.

Read the entire report here.

Governor Jan Brewer Announces Director of Trade and Investment for Sonora Office

Governor Jan Brewer Announces
Director of Trade and Investment for Sonora Office

Director to Play Key Role in Boosting Trade Relationship between Arizona, Mexico

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer has named Ignacio “Nacho” Escalante the Director of Trade and Investment for the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s (AMC) office in Hermosillo, Mexico.

As Director, Mr. Escalante will serve as a liaison and conduit for Mexican business owners seeking investment opportunities in Arizona, and vice versa. His mission will be to help facilitate business growth and relocation in both Arizona and Sonora, benefitting the larger economy of our border region.

“Mexico is Arizona’s single largest trade partner, so it’s critical to our regional economic prosperity that we continue to build ties with our neighbors to the south,” said Governor Brewer. “Mr. Escalante will be a valuable asset in this effort, given his extensive experience in capital finance and keen understanding of economic development in the border region. With his help and the continued commitment of leaders in Arizona and Sonora, we can put in place the conditions for economic opportunity that improves the quality of life for all of our citizens.”

Mr. Escalante has more than three decades of experience in business and finance, including 10 years as General Director of the Economic Development Council of Sonora. In that role, he focused upon attracting foreign capital investment. Most notably, he was involved in the 2005 expansion of a Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Hermosillo.

“I see multiple opportunities to achieve our goal of increasing trade between Arizona and Mexico and attracting new investment by manufacturers and other companies,” said Mr. Escalante. “A stronger economy will create jobs and prosperity benefiting people on both sides of the border.”

The State of Arizona first opened a trade office in Hermosillo in 1992. Budget cuts and the economic recession forced State officials to eliminate the Director of Trade and Investment position in 2008. Now, the position is returning thanks to a joint funding agreement between the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Arizona Commerce Authority.

“Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico is critical to our state’s economic prosperity,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority.  “Sonora serves as Arizona’s gateway to Mexico, and establishing a Director of Trade and Investment in this pivotal location is instrumental in strengthening the connection among companies and markets in Arizona and in Mexico.”

Mr. Escalante received his CPA from the University of Monterrey, in Nuevo León, Mexico (1985). A long-time resident of Sonora, he is fluent in English and Spanish.

In his new position, Mr. Escalante will work closely with the Governor’s Office, Arizona-Mexico Commission and Arizona Commerce Authority to educate and advise Arizona companies interested in doing business in Sonora and other regions of Mexico. He also will assist companies in their search for suitable contacts in Mexico for distribution, representation, joint ventures and other commercial activities fundamental to Arizona’s economic growth.

Additionally, Mr. Escalante will assist State agencies in the planning and execution of industry-specific meetings, conferences and seminars that promote Arizona in areas such as commerce; transportation and trade corridors; tourism; educational institutions; and health-related services.

As Arizona’s top trading partner, Mexico accounted for 33.5% ($5.97 billion) of all exports and 35.1% ($6.16 billion) of all imports in 2011. In 2011, Arizona exports to Mexico exceeded pre-recession levels, reaching an all-time high of $5.97 billion.

Click HERE for copy of Press Release

BECC: Project to be Considered for Certification

BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION COMMISSION

Click HERE to view the document.

In accordance with the BECC’s procedures for public notice, BECC is hereby releasing the following project for public comment:

  • New Water Transmission Line, San Luis, Arizona

This project will be considered for certification by the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and the North American Development Bank on or after November 19, 2012.  To ensure that the Board can take public comment into account in considering this project, comments submitted to the BECC at the addresses below will be transmitted to the Board in advance of its decision.

The information on this project has been posted on BECC’s Homepage at http://www.cocef.org The information is also available at BECC’s offices and it may be sent to interested parties upon specific request.

Comments regarding the project to be considered for certification must be received by November 16, 2012 and can be addressed at any of the following addresses:

E-mail: candidateprojects@cocef.org

Blvd. Tomás Fernández #8069
Fraccionamiento Los Parques
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua C.P. 32470

P.O. Box 221648
El Paso, Texas 79913

Via Telephone: from the U.S. (01152) 656-688-4600
Via Fax: from the U.S. (01152) 656-625-6999

AMC Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

The Arizona-Mexico Commission and the UA Office of University Research Parks received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for their AMC Special Selection in BizTucson in the category of Magazine for communities with populations of greater than 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held on September 30 – October 3 in Houston, Texas.

“We recognize UA Office of University Research Parks and the Arizona Mexico Commission for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Jay Moon, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. UA Office of University Research Parks and the Arizona Mexico Commission demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting-edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”

The Arizona Mexico Commission (AMC) with the assistance of the University of Arizona Office of University Research Parks developed a 30 page special report entitled:  “Arizona-Mexico:  The $26 billion Connection.”  The report appeared in the spring 2012 issue of BizTucson Magazine and highlighted the economic connections between Arizona and Mexico and the impact of these connections on economic development.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest independent non-profit membership and research organization devoted exclusively to the field of economic development. IEDC helps economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.  Serving more than 4,400 members, IEDC provides a diverse range of services including conferences, professional development and certification, publications, research, advisory services, and legislative tracking. Visit www.iedconline.org.

AMC Talks About Trade with Mexico

As the go-to resource for Arizona-Mexico related information, the Arizona-Mexico Commission has been participating in various events around the state providing communities with information regarding cross-border trade and its importance to the region. On August 29th, Margie Emmermann, the AMC’s Executive Director, took part on a panel with other local, state, and federal officials to discuss this very issue. The forum, “Mexico- Arizona’s #1 Trading Partner,” was held during the annual League of Cities and Towns conference in Phoenix and was attended by over 200 people. Conference attendees gathered to hear the panel talk about key topics relating to the bilateral trade relationship and the economic opportunities for Arizona.

The panelists included Walter Bastian from the US Department of Commerce, Margie Emmermann from the Arizona-Mexico Commission, John Halikowski from the Arizona Department of Transportation, Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, and Mayor Arturo Garino of Nogales.

Walter Bastian began the discussion by stating that Mexico is indeed Arizona’s top trading partner and the United States’ third largest where in 2011, $460.6 billion worth of goods were traded between the two countries.  Although Mexico ranks first in trade with Arizona, Mr. Bastian stated that “there is still money being left on the table” when it comes to trade between the two regions and that Arizona must invest in the infrastructure necessary to support and improve that trade relationship.

Margie Emmermann continued the conversation by stating that Arizona manages $26 billion in trade flowing through its ports of entry and summarized key projects that the AMC has accomplished, or is currently working on, to support the Arizona-Mexico relationship. Through the AMC’s four pillars of Advocacy, Trade, Networking, and Information, the AMC’s main focus is to enhance Arizona’s global competiveness and increase job creation. This focus is evident in projects like Vision 2015, the Border Communities Economic Development Roadmap project, and its involvement in organizations and events such as the Border Liaison Mechanism meetings and the AMC’s annual plenary sessions.

The City of Nogales, Arizona is virtually ground-zero for trade moving across the border. Mayor Garino said that he once compared Nogales to a wheel, with Nogales being a hub and cities around Arizona being the spokes; however, he now thinks of the state of Arizona as the hub and the spokes reaching across the nation or even further. Director Halikowski echoed the Mayor’s sentiment about Arizona being the hub as he spoke of the need for adequate infrastructure in our state to be able to compete against others, particularly Texas. Director Halikowski stated that ADOT is currently working on a Border Master Plan that will continue to look at the current and future needs of transportation infrastructure so that Arizona can continue to advance its trade relationship not only with Mexico, but with states to the north of Arizona as a trade corridor is developed.

The speaker panel was concluded by Mayor Greg Stanton giving the audience an overview of his trade mission to Hermosillo and Mexico City earlier in the month. Mayor Stanton expressed that as Mexico continues to build on its economy, Arizona must be well-positioned to take advantage of every opportunity made available to it.