Arizona commerce authorities will use a trade mission to marry small- and mediumsized Valley businesses looking to export goods with companies in the rapidly expanding Mexico City market.
The Arizona Department of Commerce International Trade and Investment Division will visit the capital city Oct. 3-6.
"The main purpose of it is to provide an opportunity for to first-time importers to meet with potential buyers in Mexico," said Fernando Jimenez, the department’s international trade specialist.
The Department of Commerce has sponsored the missions for 11 years. In the last four years, an average of a six companies have gone on the trips, Jimenez said. The department also conducts trade missions to Guadalajara and Monterrey.
Mexico City, known also as the Federal District or D.F., is the seat of the federal government and houses all the ministries, most government agencies, and over 280,000 firms, according to the Department of Commerce.
Mexico City and the 21 principal municipalities of the surrounding state of Mexico are home to 40 percent of Mexico’s industrial base. It is the most important distribution center in the country, Jimenez said.
During the last five years, major U.S. retail stores such as JC Penney’s, Wal-Mart, Home Mart and Office Depot have opened new stores and sell many U.S. and local products to Mexican customers. Also, there are more franchise restaurants and stores in or near Mexico City than any other part of the country, he said
"A key issue with Mexico is you need to be extremely competitive in price," Jimenez said. "A lot of the industry is around the capital . . . and your main distributors are going to be centralized. Mexico is still very centralized, so a lot of the big businesses will be in Mexico City, Guadalajara or Monterrey, the economic engines of Mexico."
Arizona’s Trade Office in Mexico City will schedule one-on-one meetings with prospective clients in the Mexican market. Appointments are limited to two days so businesses can interview the maximum number of good candidates with a minimum amount of time away from the office, Jimenez said.
One company is strongly committed to the October mission and Jimenez is talking to five more. Business who participate pay a $695 registration fee and must pay for their own transportation, hotel and meals.
"There is a commitment of probably between $1,500 and $1,700," Jimenez said. Aerospace Southwest in the Deer Valley area of Phoenix went on one of the missions and went from exporting nothing to Mexico to sending $3 million in goods, he said