The Governor’s Business Development Mission to Mexico concluded a successful first day in Mexico City, with meetings with business and government leaders, as well as a roundtable and a networking reception that offered information to Mexican companies about doing business in Wisconsin.
In partnership with SelectUSA, the Wisconsin delegation hosted a business roundtable to introduce Wisconsin as an option for Mexican companies. With the help of Wisconsin’s authorized trade representative in Mexico, companies from industries including dairy, agricultural inputs, chemicals, coatings, building materials, construction/contracting, automotive, lending/leasing, consulting and funeral services were identified to invite based on their interest in U.S. expansion. The roundtable was followed by a networking reception sponsored by SelectUSA and the U.S. Department of Commerce, featuring remarks by Governor Walker and the recently appointed U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson.
Earlier in the day, the Wisconsin delegation met with representatives of Mexico’s Secretariat for External Relations to discuss opportunities to work with the Secretariat to enhance trade and investment ties with Wisconsin. Governor Walker again expressed his support for the Mexican government’s decision to open a consulate in Milwaukee. The Mexican government confirmed this plan in 2015, and Consul General Julian Adem Diaz de Leon arrived in Milwaukee earlier this month; a grand opening for the consulate is expected to be held later this year. Once open, the consulate expects to hire up to 16 Wisconsin residents, and plans to undertake cultural, educational and economic development initiatives in addition to providing consular services. There is also interest in developing links with Wisconsin technical schools for potential exchange programs for instructors and/or students.
Also yesterday, members of the Wisconsin delegation met with representatives of ProMexico, a division of the Mexican Ministry of the Economy focused on international trade and investment, including Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal and ProMexico Director General Francisco N. Gonzalez Diaz. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the needs of the Mexican and Wisconsin economies and identify opportunities to work together for mutual benefit.
The Wisconsin delegation also met yesterday with representatives of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE), a private-sector initiative to promote foreign trade, investment and technology development. The organization works to promote and implement policies designed to help Mexican companies effectively participate in globalization, promoting exports, foreign direct investment, and technology transfer and development.
Attendees on behalf of COMCE included business executives from industries such as automotive; aerospace; energy, power and control; consumer goods; transportation; agriculture; and business, financial and legal services. During this meeting, the Wisconsin delegation shared information about Wisconsin’s key industry clusters, inquired about COMCE members’ foreign investment plans, and discussed opportunities for future collaboration.
“Today’s meetings were quite productive, and we feel confident that they will lead to more robust trade and investment between Mexico and Wisconsin,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The business development mission continues today with further meetings in Mexico City before traveling to Guadalajara.