A priority for both the city of Phoenix and the state of Arizona has been to build stronger partnerships and trade relationships with Mexico. There has been some recent movement on that front.
Mexico’s agency that promotes trade and investment, ProMexico, opened an office in Phoenix office last week. That came on the heels of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton signing an economic development agreement with Mexico City that is supposed to help promote trade between the two cities.
James Ahlers of the consulting firm Molera Alvarez said ProMexico’s presence in Phoenix will help Arizona businesses learn about cross-border trade and manufacturing opportunities in Mexico. His firm is Phoenix’s trade representative in Mexico.
“The flurry of activity, the reciprocal trade missions that have gone on, the agreements that have been signed, the opening of the ProMexico office, all demonstrate that the city and state have really turned a page in the relationship with Mexico,” Ahlers said.
Arizona’s relationship with Mexico grew tense in 2010 after the state passed its tough immigration enforcement law, SB 1070. In recent years, there has been a push by both local and state officials to repair the relationship.
Also last week, Mexico’s biggest public university, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) signed an agreement with the Phoenix community development organization Chicanos Por La Causa.
David Adame, the organization’s president, said the point of the partnership is to help Mexican nationals living here, and foster economic development on both sides of the border.
As part of the agreement, UNAM will have a presence at Chicanos Por La Causa’s Phoenix office, which Adame said will help Mexicans in Phoenix access UNAM’s online courses.
UNAM courses may be appealing to Mexicans in Arizona who do not qualify for in-state tuition.
“So they can come learn about UNAM, they can come learn about what are the potential scholarship opportunities that UNAM may be able to offer,” Adame said.