Phoenix To Reopen Mexican Trade Offices, Create Global Strategy

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - 1:08pm

Phoenix City Hall
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Phoenix City Hall.

While Mexico is Phoenix’s largest trading partner, city leaders want to look beyond our southern border for more business opportunities.

Phoenix recently closed the city’s trade offices in Mexico City and Hermosillo, Sonora. Rather than continue longer-term contracts with Phoenix-based firms that hosted dignitaries and trade missions, the council directed staff to solicit companies with a presence in Mexico and a focus on smaller businesses.

“It’s great to have the parties, and it’s great to do that because I think it keeps the political side of it together because you need that to but at the end of the day the real work is done by those small guys and that’s what we really ought to be focused on,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio.  

A request for proposal for the two Mexican trade offices should be issued by the end of 2019. A panel will review qualified submissions and is expected to make a recommendation to the council this spring. Meanwhile, city staff will create a global trade strategy and report back to council in 2020.

Mayor Kate Gallego said the city needs to take advantage of its relationships with universities and economic development groups.

“We’ve been trying with paid consultants to get the Aeromexico flight back together, maybe we can work more closely with the Mexican Consul’s office and try other strategies so some  of it will require paid professional support but I have found that there are so many people who want to help us the city of Phoenix with our international strategies, from our universities to the consular corps to people who have lived in those countries, and I think we may need to look at do we have the appropriate resources to leverage those potential partners.”

According to the city’s economic development department, nearly 40 percent of all international companies operating in Maricopa County in 2018 originated from Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea.

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