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Governor Brewer Fosters Arizona Mexico Border Communities

December 31
22:12 2013

Arizona Mexico Border EconomyThings are changing down south as Arizona and Mexico draw closer with the release of the Arizona Border Communities Roadmap, an initiative of Governor Brewer to foster prosperity for border economies. It is a collaborative effort between the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Office of Tourism working closely with the communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma. The document outlines five game changers and a five-pronged response for border economies. Announcing the Roadmap’s release, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said:

Expanding the capacity of our commercial ports of entry, strengthening our trade corridors, and developing a focused trade and transportation strategy for Arizona will foster job creation and attract new business and investment that will benefit the entire state.”

New Border Town Mentality

This sudden shift in border town mentality could improve the Republican battle for Latino voters — or perhaps Governor Jan Brewer has election plans of her own. It will remain to be seen if this new plan pacifies Arizona’s numerous Hispanic US citizens living in border communities who can be legally questioned as to their immigration status under the Arizona controversial “papers please” provision of its immigration law.

As gateways, Arizona border communities enable the flow of billions of trade dollars and millions of cross-border travelers each year.  Margie Emmermann, Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission says:

Focusing on border communities’ assets and positioning them as a region will allow them to build stronger economies and compete with communities in Texas and California, thus capturing and growing Arizona’s share of cross-border trade and investment.


North American Free Trade Agreement

Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), trade between Mexico and the UI has risen nearly 500%. The United States is Mexico’s leading trading partner, and Mexico is the second-largest U.S. export market and third in total U.S. trade. Foreign direct investment from the U.S. to Mexico increased by 216% between 1994 and 2011. Owing to NAFTA, the United States, Mexico, and Canada form the world’s largest free trade area, producing about one-third of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, through highly integrated production chains, the countries can truly be said to make things together and form a cohesive export platform from which to reach global markets.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd will build 1 million cars in Mexico by 2016, cementing the country’s position as the export hub for the Japanese automaker in the Americas.

Arizona Border Alliances Support Business Development

The five game-changers for new opportunities are:

  1. Build upon Arizona border community assets
  2. Form new strategic alliances
  3. Harness Mexican economic shifts
  4. Leverage key commercial corridors for market connectivity
  5. Support emerging business development opportunities

Bi-National Economic Response

The document presents a five-pronged action response for border communities:

  1. Arizona Governor Fosters Border EconomiesBuild a border business case. Understand the bi-national economy and communicate a strong business case to ensure success of Arizona’s border communities.
  2. Enhance border economic viability. Build on community assets, develop the labor force needed to meet industry demand, and focus on businesses that align with the vision.
  3. Improve border community image. Communicate the economic opportunity of Arizona’s border communities to change the dialogue from security to strategic positioning for business development.
  4. Strengthen relationships and foster collaborations. Make a concerted effort on every level–local, regional, state, and national. The Roadmap calls for a “Border Brain Trust”–state agencies working with border communities–to move the strategic action plan forward.
  5. Focus on border infrastructure that links border communities to key commerce corridors and promotes global connectivity. Enhancing competitiveness and sustainable economic growth requires an efficient multi-modal transportation system and adequate infrastructure to meet current and projected demand.

The Border Communities Roadmap can be downloaded from the website For more information about the project, contact Chris Stoller at 602-542-1287.

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