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Mexican official visits Arizona looking to strengthen ties between U.S. and Mexico

(Twitter Photo/@edelamadrid)

The relationship between Arizona and Mexico is moving in a positive direction, according to Mexico’s Minister of Tourism.

Enrique de la Madrid was in the United States last week and made a stop in Phoenix. He said two important keys to the relationship between Arizona and Mexico are trade and tourism. He also said trade between Arizona and Mexico generates about $16 billion a year, adding that Arizona’s $9 billion in exports to Mexico accounts for 40 percent of the state’s exports to the world.

“I am very positive that this relationship will build up and that as a region, we will be very competitive in the world,” de la Madrid said.

He said that trade between Arizona and Mexico means jobs for 110,000 people in Arizona.

“We want to continue building this relationship that has a positive effect in terms of jobs,” de la Madrid said.

He also stressed the importance of tourism, encouraging Arizonans to visit Sonora, the Mexican state that borders Arizona. Among cities to visit include Guaymas and Puerto Peñasco. He also suggested the possibility of creating a cruise through the Gulf of California.

“We can even market Arizona and Sonora together as a region,” de la Madrid said.

He said immigration is an issue, but Mexico is better off economically than it was before. He said that means there will be less tendencies for Mexican citizens to come to the U.S.

Even with strong opinions on immigration, de la Madrid believes it makes sense for the U.S. and Mexico to work together.

“Mexico is not part of the problem,” de la Madrid said. “Mexico is part of the solution.”

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