In Mexico Reforms, Arizona Businesses See Gold

October 14, 2013

(Photo by Jude Joffe-Block-KJZZ)
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton stands with Sonora Sen. Claudia Pavlovich and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski on his last trade mission to Mexico.

Arizona business leaders see opportunity as Mexico explores reforms to its energy and education infrastructure. Boosting international trade is the focus of a meeting Tuesday hosted by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

“The Olympic medalists – Mexico, Canada and China – it’s very important that our elected officials continue to look for ways to improve our relationships with those countries,” said Glenn Hamer, who heads the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Hamer, who will be a panelist at Tuesday’s meeting, said his group is encouraged by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The new president has pushed for aggressive and controversial reforms in several key areas. Perhaps the biggest would be opening the state-run energy monopoly, PEMEX, to foreign investment. Hamer said that would be big deal to U.S. border states.

“It’s more than just opening up the oil monopoly,” Hamer said. “There’s also the possibility of getting more natural gas into Mexico.”

Arizona has historically lagged neighboring states in the race to build international trade, but there has been a focused effort lately. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has made several trade missions to Mexico and most recently to China. Gov. Jan Brewer visited India in August.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to reflect the spelling of Glenn Hamer's name.

Updated 10/15/2013 at 8:30 a.m.