Today, Governor Doug Ducey announced the opening of two new Arizona Trade and Investment Offices in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, Mexico. The new offices are a part of the Arizona Commerce Authority and will create a platform for businesses in Arizona and Mexico to increase international trade and foreign direct investment opportunities.
“Arizona’s relationship with Mexico is recognized as a national model in cross-border collaboration,” said Governor Ducey. “These new trade offices in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, along with the recent ratification of the USMCA, will further advance our relationship with Mexico, Arizona’s number one trading partner.”
“Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona’s mutually beneficial partnership with Mexico has flourished,” said Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson. “These new trade offices will provide enhanced resources to increase bilateral trade and investment. I’m grateful to Governor Ducey for his incredible commitment to growing Arizona’s economy, and to Representative Tony Rivero for his leadership in helping establish these offices.”
Guanajuato, Mexico, is part of the economically dynamic Bajío region of Central Mexico. The Arizona Trade and Investment Office in Guanajuato will serve as a regional trade office, assisting the more than 1,200 Arizona aerospace and defense companies in selling to the supply chains in the Bajio region, including Querétaro. Automotive assembly plants also have a large presence in the region, which Arizona will leverage to complement its rapidly growing footprint in automotive manufacturing. Guanajuato’s significant agricultural sector is also an opportunity target market for Arizona companies in the agricultural technology, water technology and aerial unmanned vehicle industries.
Chihuahua, Mexico is the center of the largest cluster of original equipment manufacturers in Mexico, including Bell Helicopter and Honeywell, and more than 40 suppliers to the aerospace sector with parts, equipment and services. Manufacturing activities in Chihuahua provide considerable opportunities for Arizona companies. The Arizona Trade and Investment Office in Chihuahua will help Arizona companies fill critical supply chain gaps in Mexico.
“I am proud to have worked collaboratively with the Arizona Commerce Authority to launch three new trade offices in three months, beginning with Israel in November 2019 and now Guanajuato and Chihuahua,” said Representative Tony Rivero. “I thank Governor Ducey for his leadership in making Arizona the best state for business, and I am grateful to my colleagues in the legislature for their support in expanding Arizona’s international footprint.”
The Chihuahua trade office manager is Tania Espinoza. Most recently, Espinoza managed the dynamic aerospace cluster in the State of Chihuahua, one of the most robust aerospace clusters in Mexico. Her experience and contacts in this sector are an asset to this office, as this is one of Arizona’s key industries.
The Guanajuato trade office manager is Mauricio Zereno. Zereno has experience working with the export arm of the State of Guanajuato and within the local business community, including the automotive, mining and agricultural sectors. He also has rich experience working in the United States and has strong familiarity with the American business culture.
These offices were funded in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget approved by the Arizona State Legislature. They adopt the efficient management process developed and practiced at the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Mexico City Trade and Investment Office, which has been operational since 2014. This model provides representation for Arizona’s thriving business environment in Mexico with minimal administrative and overhead costs.
Mexico is Arizona’s largest trading partner. In 2018, total trade between Arizona and Mexico reached $16.69 billion, accounting for 37.1 percent of Arizona’s international trade with all countries. Between 2013 and 2018, total trade between Arizona and Mexico increased by 18.3 percent.
In 2014, the Arizona Commerce Authority established its first international Trade and Investment Office in Mexico City, which contributes to export success by connecting Arizona companies, businesses and universities with opportunities in Mexico. In its first four years, the office worked with approximately 70 entities each year. That number increased by more than 50 percent to 107 engagements in FY 2019. Already in the first half of FY 2020, 69 entities have sought assistance from the office regarding Mexico initiatives and opportunities, putting the state on pace to exceed last year’s number of engagements. The Mexico City office has assisted approximately 456 companies since its establishment.