A Wisconsin delegation is embarking today on a business development mission to Mexico. Governor Scott Walker, as well as representatives of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), will be traveling to Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Walker-Ruiz Massieu

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker met Monday with Mexico Secretary of External Relations Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

The purpose of the mission is to strengthen trade and investment ties between Wisconsin and Mexico. Mexico is Wisconsin’s second-largest export destination: the state’s exports to Mexico totaled nearly $3 billion in 2015, and trade with Mexico supports an estimated 120,000 jobs in Wisconsin.

“Notably, Wisconsin’s exports to Mexico grew by nearly 5 percent from 2014 to 2015, at the same time overall U.S. exports to Mexico declined by more than 1.5 percent,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of international business development. “Trade ties between Wisconsin and Mexico are strong, and our goal with this mission is to strengthen them further.”

The first two days of the business development mission will be spent in Mexico City, the nation’s capital and business center, with a population of 21 million in the greater metro area. The agenda includes meetings with Mexican government agencies and business leaders; a roundtable and a networking reception to offer information to Mexican companies about doing business in Wisconsin; and meetings with Mexican companies that have business operations in Wisconsin or are considering establishing them.

The delegation will then travel to Guadalajara for additional business and government meetings and the CIGAL dairy expo and trade show. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco, a state on Mexico’s west coast that has had a sister state relationship with Wisconsin since 1990.

Like Wisconsin, Jalisco is known for being a dairy producer. It is also a very productive state within Mexico for agriculture more broadly: Jalisco is Mexico’s leading producer of berries, eggs, pork, and blue agave for tequila, as well as dairy products. A Jalisco delegation has traveled to Wisconsin for the World Dairy Expo several times, and DATCP has provided education sessions on livestock genetics in Jalisco through the University of Guadalajara.

Walker-Guajardo Villarreal

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker met Monday with Mexico Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal.

Jalisco also presents opportunities for Wisconsin companies in other sectors, including food processing, electronics, automotive, aerospace, biotech/pharmaceuticals and software development. With the growth of high-tech sectors, Jalisco has become known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico.

In general, the objectives of the business development mission are to recruit new foreign direct investment from Mexico into Wisconsin, and to encourage Mexican companies with a presence in Wisconsin to maintain or expand their investments in the state.

“We are pleased to be able to visit in person to reinforce the Wisconsin-Jalisco relationship, and we look forward to connecting with Mexican companies that do not already have a presence in Wisconsin, to make the case for how they would benefit from establishing one,” said Sinnott.

Please check back on the WEDC Events Blog throughout the week for updates from the business development mission to Mexico.