Arizona and Mexican Business Groups Sign Trade Agreement

Arizona associations dedicated to fostering business innovation and startups signed an agreement with a Mexican counterpart organization last week to help further business development in the U.S. and Mexico.

Three groups are joining together to help foster the growth of startups in Arizona and Mexico.

The Arizona Technology Council (ATC), Arizona Business Incubation Association (AZBIA), and Startup Mexico, a tech incubator, announced last week a new cooperative agreement that will focus on creating connections between startups and investors in both markets.

“Whenever the number of funding opportunities goes up, entrepreneurship wins,” AZBIA President Thomas Rainey said in a statement. “This agreement means that more investors will be introduced to more promising startups, accelerating economic growth and job creation.”

The groups will work to strengthen knowledge-based businesses—those which have knowledge at the core of their products and services—which create high-paying, high-skill jobs, said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of ATC.

The cross-border agreement will also help startups in Arizona and Mexico to benefit from incubation programs in both countries and find new markets by opening local startup competitions.

“Cooperation between Arizona and Mexico pays great dividends,” said Marcus Dantus, CEO of Startup Mexico. “Over 7,500 Arizona companies export goods, and Mexico accounts for 40 percent of Arizona’s exports. By cross-pollinating Arizona and Mexico’s incubation ecosystem, we can ensure that our mutually beneficial economic growth continues.”

The agreement was announced during an economic development trip in which a delegation of Arizona mayors and business leaders traveled to Mexico City to work on expanding business opportunities between the state and its neighbor to the south. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who led the delegation, said the agreement is the first of its kind in the United States and will help soften some of the effects of the state’s tough immigration law, SB 1070, The Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The agreement “does not carry the weight of a treaty, but it marks another milestone in the changing relationships between Arizona and Mexico in 2015, and another step putting the SB 1070 era behind the state,” Stanton added. “Mexico understands that the bad impressions it had of Arizona are no longer valid.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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