BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development will participate in a January 2021 trade mission to Villahermosa, Mexico, joining delegates from the World Trade Center of New Orleans, the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, and the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans.
The trade mission will convene Jan. 11-15 in Villahermosa, capital of the Tabasco state in south Mexico, for meetings with government and private-sector representatives from Yucatan, Tabasco, Campeche and Veracruz. Villahermosa has a metro population of more than 800,000 and is known as an energy capital in a nation poised for major oil, gas, petrochemical and infrastructure investments.
“Our trade mission to Mexico is designed to foster bonds of shared economic interest, and will ideally open new markets to Louisiana businesses,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “With close proximity and a shared reliance on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana and Mexico enjoy a long history of economic and social exchange. Through this trade mission, we hope to create new opportunities for all parties involved, and to further establish Louisiana’s leadership role in the global economy.”
The mission will focus on many economic fronts, including energy, infrastructure, construction and commercial development, environmental and coastal management, maritime and ports, agriculture and agribusiness, education and academic collaboration, and healthcare.
The Mexican Gulf Coast is a dynamic region with major investments that include construction of a new refinery and extensive infrastructure projects that will link the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coasts. These projects are part of more than $15 billion in current regional investments, along with thousands of construction jobs and other opportunities for Louisiana companies to participate in for years to come.
“The Commercial Mission of the Gulf States presents both countries with an opportunity for strengthening commercial exchange and investments,” said Tito Livio Morales Burelo, Consul of Mexico in New Orleans. “Drawing from geographical advantages, and thanks to the recent entry into force of the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement, the Commercial Mission of the Gulf States is in the best condition to create jobs and promote commerce, as well as the execution of good cooperation towards development policies, support of private initiatives and fostering international investment.”
Mexico ranked as Louisiana’s top export market in 2019, with $8.4 billion in total Louisiana exports of petroleum, agricultural, chemical and other products. Mexico also is a leading importer into Louisiana, with $2.4 billion in imports of oil and gas, transportation equipment, primary metal manufacturing, chemicals and more. Mexican companies have made recent project-related, foreign direct investments resulting in over $200 million in capital expenditures and more than 450 new direct jobs in Louisiana.
Louisiana Economic Development invites business leaders interested in joining the trade delegation to contact LED International Project Manager Jessica Steverson at [email protected]. The safety and health of all participants is a top priority for trade mission organizers, and all required health protocols related to COVID-19 will be followed on the trip.
Businesses participating in the trade mission may qualify for financial support through the Louisiana State Trade Expansion Program. Facilitated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, STEP provides financial assistance to qualified small businesses through support of their export-development activities. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com/small-business/special-programs-for-small-business/step-grant.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 10,700 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.