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CONTACT: Alana Chávez-Langdon
International Economic Development Analyst
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Mexico State Congress Recognizes MAG for Binational Collaboration


PHOENIX (November 13, 2014) – The State Congress of Sonora, Mexico, has formally recognized the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for its efforts to further trade relationships with the state of Sonora. The recognition came during a visit by a MAG delegation to Hermosillo last week.

The delegation traveled to Hermosillo, Sonora, on November 10-11, 2014, following an invitation from Sonora State Congress Deputy Samuel Moreno, who visited the MAG region in June. The purpose of the visit was to establish connections with local and regional representatives and the business community, discuss economic development and tourism opportunities, find ways improve the trade and transportation corridor, and advance cooperation between both regions.

The MAG delegation included MAG Regional Council Chair Michael LeVault, mayor of Youngtown; MAG Economic Development Committee Chair John Lewis, mayor of Gilbert; MAG Transportation Policy Committee Chair Jack Sellers, councilmember of the city of Chandler; Michael Farrar, councilmember of Carefree; David Luna, councilmember of Mesa; Joel Navarro, councilmember of Tempe; and economic development representatives from the town of Gilbert and the city of Mesa.

During the visit, Deputy Samuel Moreno, on behalf of the State Congress of Sonora, recognized MAG for its continuous enthusiasm to collaborate and further relationships with the State of Sonora, which has contributed to the development of the Arizona-Sonora region.

“Over the past few years, MAG has focused on several efforts to increase engagement between Arizona and the state of Sonora at the local and regional level. This engagement has set the stage for working collaboratively to address issues pertaining to transportation infrastructure, tourism and commerce,” said Mayor LeVault. “Strengthening relationships and furthering dialogue with our counterparts have presented great opportunities for leaders on both sides of the border to identify concrete areas of collaboration to position the Arizona-Sonora region for global competition.”

MAG’s delegation also met with presidents of several Sonora Chambers of Commerce at COPARMEX (Mexican Employers' Association), to discuss ways to increase trade and tourism opportunities between both regions and identify and address areas of common interest. The visit also included tours of Rubio Pharma Lab, the Ford Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant, the MAGNA Cosma International plant and the Technological University of Hermosillo.

“Engaging with the state of Sonora is fundamental to advancing economic development initiatives and strengthening the economies of our communities by creating stronger job opportunities. Identifying key industries and finding synergistic opportunities in other markets across the border will allow Arizona to increase its participation in global supply chain networks,” said Mayor Lewis. “In order to increase strategic opportunities and further relationships between both regions it is essential to leverage the existing trade and tourism offices in Mexico City and the city of Hermosillo,” he said.

“Improving transportation and infrastructure is critical to facilitating economic development. The commitment of the Mexican federal government to invest one billion dollars in infrastructure improvements on Federal Highway 15 is imperative for strengthening and increasing the flow of commerce and trade between Arizona and Sonora,” said Councilmember Sellers. This transportation and trade corridor represents Arizona’s gateway into central Mexico and it is essential we continue working together with Mexico to make this western trade corridor a reality.”