The Governor’s Business Development Mission to Mexico continued yesterday in Guadalajara, in Wisconsin’s sister state of Jalisco on Mexico’s west coast.

Walker and Sandoval

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with Jalisco Governor Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz

Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city, with 4.8 million people in the greater metro area. The surrounding region of Jalisco 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.

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.

Yesterday’s events included a luncheon meeting with Jalisco Governor Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz. The Wisconsin delegation also met with representatives of the Jalisco Chamber of Commerce (CCIJ) and JALTRADE, a public agency within the executive branch of the Jalisco government tasked with promoting trade and investment in the State of Jalisco. JALTRADE helps companies begin exporting or expand their exports, and educates companies about foreign direct investment, similar to the role of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in Wisconsin. Included in the meeting were representatives of Jalisco industry clusters including agriculture, food and beverage, water technology and information technology—sectors that closely align with Wisconsin’s industry strengths.

Objectives of the Jalisco segment of the business development mission include raising awareness of Wisconsin’s key industries that align with Jalisco’s, including the food and beverage, manufacturing, aerospace, high-tech and bioscience sectors, and to identify areas of investment opportunity and discuss areas of possible collaboration.

“We value our long history of economic and cultural ties with Jalisco, and we are excited about new opportunities for collaboration as both economies evolve,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The business development mission continues today in Jalisco with the CIGAL dairy expo, where the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has coordinated a Wisconsin Pavilion of companies based in the state that are exhibiting at the show.