Our flight from Mexico City got in just a few hours ago, so I wanted to give you an update on the latest from our trip.
Our itinerary Friday was jammed wire to wire with key meetings, while today we wrapped things up with a visit to one of Mexico’s cultural gems.
What a visit this was. There is no more exciting, vibrant city (except for those in Arizona) than North America’s largest city, Mexico City. Every time I visit, the city is a bit more advanced with additional offerings. The energy here exceeds my birth city, New York City, and its population is about three times the size.
Friday started with a meeting with the Mexico City chapter of the YPO, the Young Presidents’ Organization. Interacting with high-level business executives is slow-pitch softball for Gov. Ducey. He is completely in his element discuss the art of the deal. A number of strong connections were made at the breakfast.
Next up was a meeting of two Sun Devils, Gov. Ducey and Mexico’s Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo talking areas of economic cooperation with the Arizona delegation. Our very well regarded U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne also joined.
Sandra Watson presented the Arizona Advantage to our hosts. We talked education and technology. There is a strong desire to increase educational exchanges, including internships, between Arizona and Mexico. There was also a very strong emphasis placed by the Mexican minister on mining, where we enjoy a lot of synergy. Arizona-headquartered Freeport McMorRan, the world’s largest producer of copper and gold, was expertly represented on this visit.
Three important agreements were signed by the Governor and the high-level Mexican ministers. The agreements: 1) help improve child safety by providing additional protections and notifications in cases involving Mexican children living in the U.S. involved in difficult circumstances; 2) officially recognize our robust higher education linkages with a commitment to strengthen them; and 3) a memorandum of understanding to work closer together on entrepreneurial activities.
As a sports fan, it was a treat to visit the headquarters for the Mexican Olympic Committee. At the end of the discussion, Phoenix Suns President Jason Rowley and Diamondbacks radio announcer and former MLB pitcher, Rodrigo Lopez, presented jerseys to our hosts.
(It was a treat – less so for him – to bend the ear of Rodrigo on my philosophy of late inning relief pitching. The Mexican-born hurler is a true gentleman and with honor represented the DBacks and our state.)
The visit concluded today with a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology. I will admit that I generally try to hit the snack bar at museums as soon as possible. But this museum is beautiful and provides a fascinating chance to learn about the history of Mexico and the development of the Mexico City area. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Mexico City, make sure a trip to Chapultepec Park and the Anthropology Museum are on your agenda.
Governor Ducey is a superb ambassador for our state. We should think of him as our Chief Marketing Officer.
He’s assembled an outstanding team who helped make this trade mission go on without a hitch. Chief of Staff Kirk Adams and Arizona Mexico Commission Executive Director Kim Sabow deserve a lot of credit. Arizona Mexico Commission President David Farca commands deep and wide respect in Mexico with business and political leaders.
The message from the Governor and echoed by all of the delegation is that Arizona is open for business and is eager to do more: more trade, more tourism, and more academic and cultural exchanges. The message was received.
It was an honor to be part of this historic effort. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry will do all it can to continue to help deepen our most important bi-national relationship.