Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela and University of New Mexico Assistant to the President for Global Initiatives MaryAnne Saunders announced recently the opening of the “New Mexico Trade and Higher Education Center of Mexico City,” at a press conference held at the Consulate of Mexico in Albuquerque.
The initiative is not only an unprecedented partnership between the city, state and university, but it is also unique to all other U.S. representative offices currently in operation in Mexico.
“This is a crucial next step for our international trade development efforts in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico,” said Mayor Berry. “Strong trends in near-shoring, favorable shifts in freight logistics in Mexico, and the country’s rapidly growing consumer economy are just a few of the reasons why the timing is perfect for us to establish our presence in this metro area of more than 20 million people.”
Mexico is currently New Mexico’s largest export market registering over $800 million in exports in 2013, more than twice the $385 million total from just five years ago (2009). The increase in exports goes hand in hand with recent growth in the New Mexico borderplex region, particularly at the Santa Teresa port of entry where Union Pacific Railroad opened its $400 million state of the art intermodal facility in April.
"New Mexico has doubled its exports to Mexico over the last four years, this office will help continue our growth," said Barela. "It complements the work taking place at the New Mexico-Chihuahua border to build a word-class port for trade and industry, and position New Mexico as a leader in international trade."
The New Mexico Trade and Higher Education Center will be located at the World Trade Center Mexico and be staffed by two experts within the fields of international business development and higher education. Margo Galvan, a Mexico City native with over 25 years assisting foreign companies and governments enter the Mexican market, will work with New Mexico companies interested in finding customers, partners or distributors throughout Mexico. Galvan will also play an important role in New Mexico’s efforts to position the state as a strategic location for Mexican foreign direct investment.
Angelica Careaga, a seasoned international higher education expert with over 30 years of experience, will focus attention on building partnerships between the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Mexican higher education institutions including recruiting Mexican undergraduate and graduate students to the UNM’s degree programs, developing valuable study abroad experiences for UNM students in Mexico, and responding to Presidents Obama and Peña Nieto’s Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research, as well as to the Proyecta 100,000 and the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiatives. Careaga will leverage the long and rich history that UNM has had in working collaboratively with Mexican institutions as she helps create a reinvigorated partnership between our two countries.
“While we currently have many research and educational programs with Mexican universities, we know that much more collaboration is possible," Saunders said. "We believe that this effort will create stronger interactions at all levels, and UNM looks forward to enhancing our partnerships with our Mexican colleagues, in order to provide more research and educational opportunities to our students and theirs.”
Mayor Berry and UNM President Robert Frank will lead an official delegation to Mexico City next week to meet with Mexican officials and inaugurate the office. Representatives of New Mexico’s business community will join the Mayor and President Frank to hold the first series of business meetings being organized under the auspices of the new office.
“The new office will be a game-changer for the bilateral relationship between Mexico and New Mexico, as it aims to strengthen key areas such as trade and education,” added Consul Mauricio Ibarra of the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque. “We are confident it will also have positive outcomes in terms of cultural and tourism promotion”