Government, Business Leaders From Mexico And Arizona Meet For Annual Summit

By Jorge Valencia, Mark Brodie
December 01, 2016

Gov. Doug Ducey will be a part of bilateral government and business meetings that are taking place in the capital of Sonora today and tomorrow.

He’ll be in the company not only of his Sonoran counterpart, Gov. Claudia Pavlovich, but also of Mexican cabinet members and top business executives.

While there are many questions about the future of U.S. trade and Homeland Security with our neighbor to the south, local and state officials like Ducey are conducting diplomacy at the local level.

Top government and business leaders from Arizona and Mexico will meet in Hermosillo this week for an annual bilateral event.

Cabinet members from the Mexican government and Ducey will be a part of the summit.

The governors of both states will speak about ways they’re working on business growth on both sides of the border. The conference will also include talks from Mexico’s secretaries of the economy, finance and foreign relations.

The stated purpose of summit is what you would expect: finding ways to bring businesses and jobs to both sides of the border.

But not part of the agenda: the looming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which will likely be brought on by the incoming administration in Washington

"We have a very small piece of real estate in the world, relatively speaking. We want to make this the best," said Marcos Garay, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. "So what happens with NAFTA, at this point, is pure speculation."

Garay said businesses with presence in Arizona and the border state of Sonora are part of the economic future, and he is focusing on the region immediately around him.

“First of all, we're tied to hip,” Garay said. “Sonora is not going to go away, and we can continue to grow trade having close relationships where investments will flow each way, jobs are created, taxes are paid, you know, the quality of life keeps improving.”

On Tuesday, Lucid Motors said it would open a new plant in Pinal County, in part because of geographical proximity to its supply chain in Sonora. The plant is expected to employ about 2,000 people in Casa Grande.