AMC Executive Director, Margie Emmermann, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Arizona-Mexico Commission Executive Director, Margie Emmermann, Receives Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award

PHOENIX, AZ – Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Executive Director Margie Emmermann received the rare Lifetime Achievement Award from Arizona Governor and AMC Chair Jan Brewer at the 2014 AMC Plenary Session in Phoenix on June 20, to a standing ovation from more than 400 participants from Arizona and Mexico.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for individuals who have earned “a lifetime distinction through many years of active involvement in advancing the Arizona-Mexico relationship and unique contributions to the betterment of the quality of life for the people of the Arizona-Sonora region.”

Margie earned the nickname “Queen of the Border,” Governor Brewer noted, through her two decades of service to the State of Arizona on Mexico policy issues and diplomatic relations, spanning the administrations of four Governors.   “She has been invaluable in my administration’s mission to strengthen and advance our relationship with Mexico,” Governor Brewer added.

Margie has had many notable accomplishments over the years including helping to not only save but also elevate the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo to the level of Consulate General and leading the charge to bring a new U.S. Consulate to Nogales, Sonora, making Sonora the only Mexican state with two U.S. Consulate Generals.  Her accomplishments over the years have garnered her recognition by many organizations, including the prestigious OHTLI award which is the highest honor that the Mexican government bestows upon foreign citizens in acknowledgement of their extraordinary contributions to the empowerment of the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States.

Margie began her career in state government as Policy Advisor for Mexico to Governors Fife Symington and Jane Dee Hull, where she was directly responsible for the oversight of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.  Margie then served as director of the Arizona Office of Tourism for six years where she was charged with expanding the volume of travel activity and related expenditures in Arizona through tourism promotion and development.  She has also served as director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for positioning the state in the new global economy and promoting rural development.  Margie returned to the Governor’s Office in 2009 as Governor Brewer’s Policy Advisor for Mexico and Latin America and Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

“Margie’s leadership, mentorship and passion for growing the economy of Arizona is incomparable,” said AMC President Larry Lucero, who is Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development at Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy Corporation. “She has provided sage advice to four Governors, as well as leadership and passion for the trade and cultural relationship Arizona enjoys with Sonora and Mexico.”

Joining Margie on stage at the Plenary to honor her accomplishments were several current and former AMC staff members, including Ruben Alvarez, former AMC Executive Director; James Ahlers, former special assistant to the governor for Mexico policy; Antonio Proto, former head of the Arizona state office in Hermosillo, Sonora; and Ignacio Escalante, current director of the Arizona State Office in Sonora among others.

Governor Brewer presented the AMC Lifetime Achievement Award on what she described as the “bittersweet” occasion of Margie’s final AMC plenary session as a state official.   Margie is set to retire from the State at the end of 2014.

To view the original press release, please click HERE.


Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completes strategic Roadmap

Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completes strategic Roadmap
Plan outlines job growth, trade, economic development through infrastructure

As announced at the recent Arizona-Mexico Commission Plenary Session, the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completed its Roadmap, a comprehensive document designed to support moving Arizona toward a more globally competitive second century, focused on high-value trade and investment, market connectivity, and alignment of policy and actions. The Roadmap was constructed by a group of experts from the public and private sectors, brought together by Governor Jan Brewer to develop a plan to position Arizona in a fast-growing global marketplace.

The result of more than a year of work, the TTCA Roadmap makes a clear case for the need to continue to add modern and efficient transportation infrastructure to ensure Arizona’s connectivity to both domestic and global markets. This infrastructure connectivity provides the means to attract new businesses and industries, create jobs, foster trade and economic development, and secure investment and new wealth.

The entire TTCA Roadmap can be found HERE.

“I am proud to unveil this Roadmap while underscoring the time and talent that went into developing this plan for Arizona’s future,” said John Halikowski, the director of the Arizona Department of Transportation and the co-chair of the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance. “It is critical that we view transportation as a necessary investment to position Arizona for global competitiveness and success. The Roadmap ties together economic development and transportation to promote trade and job growth, capitalizing on our competitive advantages of doing business in Arizona.”

The Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance was created in 2012 at the direction of Governor Brewer. Halikowski co-chairs the TTCA Steering Committee with former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe. Serving as vice chairs are Margie Emmermann, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the governor’s policy advisor for Mexico and Latin America, and Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. 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. TTCA leaders recognize that these key partnerships must reach out across the public and private sectors to accomplish the objectives set out in the Roadmap.

“The TTCA’s aggressive goal to double trade with global markets was developed as a statewide goal with input from broad-based community leaders,” said Emmermann. “It is clearly understood this goal has a much greater chance of success if we truly align efforts statewide. The TTCA is committed to partnering with all entities to strengthen Arizona’s position as a globally competitive force.”

Arizona’s opportunities are in tradable goods and services to both domestic and foreign markets. The Roadmap outlines how connectivity to these markets will help ensure Arizona’s success in the global marketplace and will facilitate an export-based economy for our state. Arizona sits in the middle of an economically powerful mega-region with accessibility to three dynamic world-class markets: Southern California, central Texas and northern Mexico. It is this advantageous location for Arizona that provides the opportunity for stronger north-south and east-west connections to major markets through existing and future transportation infrastructure.

“The TTCA Roadmap represents a significant step forward in the linkage of trade and its role as an economic driver for Arizona, and the needed transportation system to support and grow that trade,” said Kolbe. “In a world that is increasingly global in nature, supply chains are far flung and more numerous than ever.  The Roadmap provides a useful tool for business and political leaders to understand how these supply chains can be integrated with the transportation infrastructure to grow the economy and improve lives for all Arizonans.”

The TTCA Roadmap supports a plan to invest $20 billion over 20 years to improve Arizona’s existing transportation infrastructure while adding new infrastructure, focusing on Key Commerce Corridors. TTCA leaders maintain it’s this investment in infrastructure that will create the opportunity for robust connectivity. Leaders recognize that investment and connectivity is critical in order to reach a major goal set out in the Roadmap — double Arizona’s trade with Mexico and other global markets by 2025, while solidifying Arizona’s accessibility and global competitiveness.

“The TTCA Roadmap sets the long-term vision for maximizing Arizona’s infrastructure assets and strategic advantages for global business,” said Watson. “By aligning public and private sector goals, we are creating a foundation to strengthen our transportation infrastructure system and bolster Arizona’s connectivity to international markets. This will reinforce Arizona’s standing as a hub for global commerce, increase international export trade and attract new foreign direct investment into our statewide economy.”

For more on the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, visit

To view the original press release, please click HERE.

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Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session: “Arizona & Sonora: Evolution of a Region”

Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together
at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session:
“Arizona & Sonora: Evolution of a Region”

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer hosted the Arizona-Mexico’s Commission’s (AMC) 2014 plenary session for the last time as Governor of Arizona and Chair of the AMC.  Governor Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías reiterated their commitment to promoting economic prosperity for the region through mutual collaboration as they spent the day meeting with leaders of the public and private sectors from both sides of the border.

“As I close my last year in office, I want to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed our friendship and hard work, and am proud of our shared accomplishments in advancing our region’s economic competitiveness” said Governor Brewer to Governor Padres during the event’s Plenary Session.  “These commissions [AMC & CSA] working together have accomplished many critically important regional initiatives, projects that enhance the collective wellbeing of the people of Arizona and Sonora” she added.

Today, Arizona’s Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA) publicly released its Roadmap.  The TTCA, spearheaded by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Commerce Authority along with regional entities and the private sector was tasked with creating a plan to advance high value trade and investment, supported by state of the art transportation infrastructure.  This plan represents an important part of the state’s economic future and sets a bold goal of doubling Arizona’s trade with Mexico by 2025 by focusing on Arizona’s opportunities, advantages, and competitive edge.

“Imagine that,” says Governor Jan Brewer “Arizona’s trade with Mexico at $28 billion.  That means thousands of jobs for both Sonora and Arizona and hundreds of millions in new foreign direct investment. But that can only be accomplished if we adopt the necessary policies that enable our public sector to partner with the private sector and academia.”

This year’s plenary included the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the states of Arizona and Sonora through the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Sonora’s State Commission on Water.  This agreement allows both states to jointly evaluate the feasibility of Sea of Cortez desalination to augment and increase water supply resiliency in Arizona and Sonora.  This agreement is signed at a time where the Arizona-Sonora region is facing critical water supply challenges and experiencing extended droughts.

The two-day event also continued the annual tradition of donations from Arizona to Sonora.  Rural/Metro once again donated two ambulances to the state of Sonora, marking the ninth year that the donation has been made.  One of the ambulances donated by Rural/Metro was gifted to the City of Ures while Sonora’s Secretary of Health accepted the second.

As part of the Plenary Session, 13 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region.  The Health Committee will promote a bi-national effort to implement an education program aimed at residents regarding the proper use of Child Safety Restraints. The Environment and Water Committee will continue collaborating with public and private sector partners in an effort to improve the region’s water resources by exchanging information on water management and treatment practices and identifying opportunities to enhance supply resiliency in both Sonora and Arizona

Lastly, the AMC recognized the people and organizations who have contributed to advancing Arizona’s relationship with Mexico by awarding the annual Tony Certósimo, Paul J. Fannin, and Dr. Andy Nichols awards.  This year, the AMC awarded the Tony Certósimo Award to ADOT Director John Halikowki, who has committed to fostering improved relations with Mexico for numerous years.  His leadership has advanced Arizona’s important cross-border agenda with Mexico and has embraced the mission of the AMC in support of a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.

The Paul J. Fannin award, which is named after the AMC’s founder – Governor Paul Fannin – is given to an organization that has demonstrated acts of good will and support toward the Arizona-Mexico relationship.  This year, the Ventanillas de Salud was awarded the Paul Fannin award for its dedication to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the Latino population in the US as well as maintaining a healthy environment grounded in local and binational collaboration between the United States and Mexico.

Finally, Bob Ramsey, President & CEO of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, was awarded the Dr. Andy Nicholls award for his efforts to improve the quality of life in the Arizona-Mexico region through binational border health initatives.  Bob Ramsey has had a lifelong dedication to helping others; just one example of this is the tradition he established while President & CEO of PMT ambulance to identify communities in Sonora that were in need of ambulances and donate annually to the most needy communities.

In addition to the three annual awards, the AMC gave a special recognition to the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona House of Representatives, and the City of Phoenix for their commitment to advancing the Arizona-Mexico relationship and spearheading initiatives to improve economic ties.  Their collaboration and leadership has led to the funding of an Arizona Trade Office in Mexico City that will afford Arizona the opportunity to strengthen its ties with its most important trade partner, Mexico.

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 this Press Release.

Arizona’s ports of entry experience significant growth in cross-border traffic

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2014
Contact: ADOT Public Information Office  -or-  1.800.949.8057

Arizona’s ports of entry experience significant growth in cross-border traffic
Mexican truckers, however, push for better access, treatment

PHOENIX – Despite an increase in commercial truck crossings from Mexico into Arizona – a key economic driver for the state – Mexican drivers have expressed concerns about access and treatment by U.S. federal inspectors that could threaten the continued growth in cross-border commerce.

The situation has gotten to the point that some Mexican truckers are threatening to institute a traffic blockade of the Arizona border crossings – a March 20 deadline had been given and the efforts of many officials have helped stave off that threat for now.

The trucking industry in Nogales, both Sonora and Arizona, have expressed concerns over the treatment, high number of inspections, high level of fines, and high number of trucks placed “out of service” by U.S. federal safety inspectors. In some instances, the levels of fines and “out of service” rulings are disproportionately high at Nogales and Arizona’s other commercial gateways (San Luis and Douglas) when compared to other parts of the border in Texas and California.

While the Arizona Department of Transportation doesn’t take a position on the merit of these grievances, the department is urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to carefully consider these complaints and to resolve differences with the trucking industry to avoid a blockade.

ADOT Director John S. Halikowski is hoping that a blockade can be avoided in this high-intensity commercial travel season. During the peak of the produce season, between 1,500 and 2,000 trucks are processed every day.

“A blockade would have detrimental and long-standing repercussions for Nogales and the entire Sinaloa-Sonora-Arizona corridor as Arizona looks to enhance competitiveness with other U.S. border states,” Halikowski said. “The United States and Mexico are engaged in a high-level dialogue to promote competitiveness and connectivity along with fostering economic growth and productivity. But without an effective and efficient border, our two nations would not be able to reach their maximum potential. Our work on the border is critical to Arizona’s and the nation’s future.”

Two-way vehicular traffic at Arizona’s international ports of entry is on the rise. In 2013, 16.3 million cars crossed at the ports, versus 15 million cars in 2012. Truck traffic increased from 754,000 crossings in 2012 to 763,000 crossings in 2013. And 1,730 trains crossed at the border in 2013, compared to 1,300 trains in 2012.

Whether by car, truck or train, cross-border traffic between Arizona and Mexico is critical to the tourism, trade, commerce and economic development of both regions. New numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that two-way flows at Arizona’s six international ports of entry rose significantly in 2013 when compared to just one year before.

Mexico is a critical partner with Arizona, with $14.1 billion in bilateral trade occurring annually. Close to 40 percent of all fresh produce consumed in the United States during the winter makes its way through the Nogales Port of Entry alone.

The increase in the flow of goods across the border highlights some key points, such as higher value commerce is moving through Arizona’s international ports of entry, and the dramatic growth in rail traffic reaffirms ADOT’s commitment to multimodal operations at the border. In addition, as pedestrian and vehicle traffic has grown, the wait times to cross the border have decreased overall. This is largely due to major infrastructure improvements at Arizona’s international ports of entry.

“Arizona and our federal partners have been working tirelessly to ensure that our ports of entry are modernized so that we can remain competitive with other border states,” said Margie Emmermann, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. “We are seeing the fruits of our labor as flows of people and trade at our ports of entry are on an upward trend. This marks the third year that our numbers demonstrate substantial growth in both trade and people crossing the border, and we expect this trend to continue.”

Over the past six years, Arizona and its federal partners have invested more than $450 million in state and federal funding for improvements to border infrastructure, including improvements to support the efficient movement of commercial and non-commercial traffic.

Currently, a $225 million project to modernize and expand the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is nearly complete. Once the port is fully operational, these improvements will speed the processing of commercial and non-commercial traffic at one of the largest ports of entry on the entire U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to improvements at the port of entry – which now has 12 vehicle lanes, eight commercial vehicle lanes and facilities for pedestrians – ADOT has invested more than $20 million in the area’s roadway transportation infrastructure.

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To view the original press release, click HERE.

Governors Jan Brewer and Guillermo Padrés Announce “Global Advantage” Partnership to Attract International Business

February 12, 2014

Governors Jan Brewer and Guillermo Padrés Announce “Global Advantage” Partnership to Attract International Business

Will Lead Trade Mission to Israel to Promote Arizona-Sonora Region              

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés have announced a new partnership to recruit technology companies from around the world to do business in the Arizona-Sonora region. Global Advantage – a collaboration between the University of Arizona Tech Parks and the Offshore Group — underscores the governors’ strong and shared commitment to enhancing job growth and global competitiveness near the border.

“If Arizona is to remain competitive in the global economy, it is crucial that we continue to seek and support productive international partnerships,” said Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. “This venture will foster economic development and create jobs for Arizona and Sonora while attracting business investment worldwide. It is a perfect example of the regional opportunities on which Arizona and Sonora should continue to capitalize.”

The partnership will leverage the benefits and assets of the border region while offering international companies a competitive and attractive location in which to do business. Global Advantage will allow companies to conduct advanced research and development at Tech Parks Arizona and provide high-tech manufacturing capabilities, administrative and support services and access to a skilled work force at one of the Offshore Group’s facilities in Sonora. By capitalizing on the expertise and core competencies of both organizations – which combined offer nearly 50 years of business experience – Global Advantage will help secure long-term economic opportunity and prosperity for both Arizona and Sonora.

“This partnership enables Arizona and Sonora to become a single region, working together not as two separate states, or countries, but as a single, unified economic region,” said Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés.  “Sonora and Arizona’s cooperative relationship has been, and will continue to be a model example of collaboration among the entire border region that greatly benefits the citizens of both states.”

Global Advantage has received significant attention from international organizations in Israel, Korea, and Europe.  Recently, the Global Advantage team traveled to Israel to present and promote this partnership to Israeli government officials, business and trade organizations and high-tech companies. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with several Israeli companies expressing a strong interest in expanding to the U.S. market.

At the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session last week in Hermosillo, Sonora, Governor Brewer and Governor Padrés announced plans to capitalize on this interest and drive these companies to the Arizona-Sonora region. Later this year, the governors will lead a business and trade mission to Israel to meet with companies looking to become Global Advantage clients, with the ultimate goal of boosting international ties and enhancing the long-term economic competitiveness of both states.  Israel is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading centers of technology innovation and the source of a large number of technology companies interested in entering the North American market.

Those interested in learning more or becoming involved in Global Advantage should contact:

Media Contact for Governor Brewer’s Office:
Annie Dockendorff
(602) 542-7029

Media Contact for Governor Padrés’ Office:
Jorge Morales Borbón

Contact for Tech Parks Arizona:
Jessa B. Turner
(520) 382-2485

Contact for The Offshore Group:
Ricardo Rascon
(520) 574-6210


Click HERE for a copy of this Press Release.

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:
“Energy Transforms Arizona & Sonora”

 HERMOSILLO, Son. –Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elias today met with elected officials and business leaders from Arizona and Sonora at the Arizona-Mexico Commission Plenary Session in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The semi-annual event serves as a platform for meaningful international collaboration between the two states, with the ultimate goal of strengthening our bilateral partnership and enhancing the economic growth and quality of life in the Arizona-Sonora region.

Arizona and Sonora also are continuously working together to invest in and improve the infrastructure at our ports of entry to greatly facilitate the flow of cross-border trade and travelers.  These investments have paid off as 2013 saw a significant increase in cross-border traffic through Arizona’s ports: a total of 48.3 million people compared to the 42.4 million in 2012, a 14% increase in just one year.  This is only augmented by the value of goods crossing through our ports –over $28 billion annually!

Adding to the dialogue of increasing competitiveness, Governor Brewer promoted the efforts undertaken by several Arizona agencies to foster both the state’s and Arizona’s border region’s economic prosperity through the creation of two roadmaps.  The Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance’s (TTCA) Roadmap is a major initiative undertaken by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) that defines the state’s vision for investment in trade, transportation infrastructure, and job creation.  The release of the TTCA Roadmap is imminent and will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Border Communities Roadmap, which is now in the implementation phase, is a partnership between the AMC, ADOT, ACA, and the Arizona Office of Tourism in collaboration with the border communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma.  This Roadmap examined and developed a strategic plan with economic development priorities and policy direction that will help mobilize assets within each community and leverage them to enhance community and regional economic vitality.

Promoting the State of Arizona as an international trade hub is of utmost importance to state leaders.  While in Hermosillo, Governor Brewer met with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to discuss advancements being made on the opening of a trade office in Mexico City.  This would be Arizona’s second trade office in Mexico as Hermosillo is already home to the Arizona State Office in Sonora.

During Friday’s events, both Governor Brewer and Governor Padrés also signed two Declarations of Agreement through the Arizona Department of Health Services and the State of Sonora’s Secretary of Public Health.

The first agreement calls for Arizona and Sonora to conduct a simultaneous campaign for the prevention of the use of illicit substances with the participation of the public, social and private sector stakeholders for the purpose of promoting the benefits of illicit substance-free communities to the general population

The second agreement will unite both states’ efforts with the U.S. Center for Disease Control in the development of a protocol to permit the crossing of specimens for the timely diagnosis of diseases of mutual interest of both states.  The Secretary of Public Health of the State of Sonora and the Arizona Department of Health Services will use this protocol to allow the crossing of the following diagnostic and/or agents from Sonora to Arizona: Campylobacter, Coccidioidomycosis, Influenza, Rickettsia, West Nile Fever, Dengue Fever, Measles, Rubella and Tuberculosis.

Fundamental to the AMC’s Plenary Sessions, 14 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region through their continued binational partnerships.  From the Health Committee’s commitment to improving the region’s quality of life, to the Tourism Committee’s efforts in promoting the Arizona/ Sonora wine industry, the AMC’s committees are dedicated to enhancing our region through mutual collaboration.  More on the AMC’s committees and their projects can be found at

More information regarding agreements made during the plenary session are to come in the following days.

Click HERE for a copy of this Press Release.

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.


  • 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

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

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 or for more information about the project contact Chris Stoller at 602-542-1287.

$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 |
Laura Shaw | Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities | (520) 609-5972 |
Jim Mize |Pima County One-Stop | (520) 243-6703 |
Patricia A. Sullivan| New Mexico State University | (575) 646-2913|
Jennifer Sinsabaugh | New Mexico MEP | (505) 262-0921 |
Marisa Walker | Arizona Commerce Authority | (602) 845-1297 |

$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

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.