Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is leading a delegation of six Arizona mayors and more than two dozen business leaders and experts to the Mexican capital on a mission to expand trade opportunities with prominent business and political leaders.

The delegation arrived in Mexico City on Sunday. This morning they met with leaders of ProMexico, the Mexican government’s international economic development arm that recently opened an office in Phoenix. Later today delegation will tour Startup Mexico, the country’s premier tech-hub incubator, where the Arizona Technology Council will sign a memorandum of understanding to help startup tech companies in both Arizona and Mexico grow and find new markets across the border. Later Mayor Stanton will sign a similar memorandum of understanding with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

“I believe this is a page-turning moment for Arizona in our relationship with Mexico, and it’s to the benefit of both our respective economies. We are going to show Mexico City the real Arizona,” said Stanton, who was making his 13th economic development trip to Mexico since taking office in 2012.

Stanton noted that ProMexico opening a trade office in Phoenix was a huge step given Arizona’s past political discourse toward Mexico, as well as TAP Royal Bus Lines opening a spectacular new station this week in west Phoenix.

“At the same time, Arizona’s trade with Mexico is rapidly expanding, bucking a national trend of declining exports,” Stanton added. “This is a very important trip to solidify and expand on those gains.”

The mayors joining Stanton on the trip, which concludes on Wednesday, are:

  • Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson,
  • John Giles of Mesa,
  • Sharon Wolcott of Surprise,
  • John Doyle of Nogales,
  • and Douglas Nicholls of Yuma.

Among the more than 30 business leaders and economic development experts who are on the trade mission are Stephen Zylstra, President of the Arizona Technology Council; Russ Yelton, CEO of Pinnacle Transplant Technologies; Tom Rainey, President of the Arizona Business Incubation Association; Lea Marquez Peterson, President of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Margie Emmermann of the consulting firm Molera Alvarez and former executive director of the Arizona Mexico Coalition.

A highlight of the trip will occur on Tuesday when the mayors participate in an Arizona-Mexico Town Hall with students from Mexico City’s prestigious Universidad Iberoamericana. In an open forum the mayors and students will discuss topics ranging from innovation and migration to human rights and interculturalism. The Town Hall will be moderated by Ana Luisa Fajer, Director for North America, Secretariat for Foreign Affairs for Mexico.

Sponsors for the trade mission include: The City of Phoenix, Arizona State University, Visit Tucson, Maricopa Association of Governments, Visit Phoenix, Community Loans of America, Salt River Project and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.