Feb. 6, 2013
Mayor Greg Stanton and city council members held Phoenix’s first task force meeting on “Trade, Investment & Tourism with Mexico” today to continue to lead the city on strengthening its relationship with Mexico, Arizona’s largest trading partner.
“Increasing our trade relations with Mexico is a top priority for our city’s economy,” Stanton said. “The more collaboration we can have on Mexico, working with city council members and our business community to increase our trade relations with our biggest trade partner, the better economic outlook we have for Phoenix.”
Stanton created the task force in collaboration with Councilmen Daniel Valenzuela, Sal DiCiccio and Michael Nowakowski to bolster efforts on fostering business with Mexico, an issue Stanton has made a priority, with two trade missions to Mexico in his first year in office.
“The best way we can build this relationship is face to face, through education and through collaboration,” said Nowakowski, who accompanied Stanton on a trade mission to Mexico. “I look forward to working with Mayor Stanton and the task force toward welcoming and increasing the diversity in business and strengthening our local economy.”
In 2011, Mexico was the largest export market for Arizona with $6 billion. In Texas it was $87 billion.
“We have no choice but to improve our trade relationship for our future economy,” Stanton said. “We not only need to play catch up, but we also need to focus our efforts on this now.”
Stanton also has worked to improve Arizona’s image by supporting diversity and trade with Mexico and working to welcome business back to the state by pitching Phoenix as a prime convention location and working with mayors across the country at the U.S. Conference of Mayors to strengthen relations with Mexico.
The first task-force meeting included overviews of current programs and activities with Mexico, discussion and ideas on how to move forward and future meetings and steps. Stanton said he wants to work on how can Phoenix advocate for our local business community, to work with existing businesses and help them leverage proximity to Mexico and translate into growing their Phoenix operations.
The task force will work with the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Phoenix City Staff to identify ways the city can improve trade relations with Mexico.
All task force meetings are open to the public. The next meeting date will be posted on phoenix.gov/publicmeetings.