AZ Restores Binational Liaison Post in Sonora
Rico, Gabriela, AZ Daily Star
I. Escalante to serve in trade-promotion role in Hermosillo
The burgeoning economy in Sonora and renewed interest from Arizona businesses to enter the Mexican market has prompted the reinstatement of a state post to promote international trade in the region.
Ignacio "Nacho" Escalante has been named director of trade and investment for the Arizona-Mexico Commission's office in Hermosillo, Sonora. Arizona eliminated the position in 2008, citing a down economy.
It will now be jointly funded by the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Arizona Commerce Authority. Salary information wasn't available late Friday from Arizona's human relations department.
"Mexico is Arizona's single largest trade partner, so it's critical to our regional economic prosperity that we continue to build ties with our neighbors to the south," Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement announcing Escalante's appointment. "With his help and the continued commitment of leaders in Arizona and Sonora, we can put in place the conditions for economic opportunity that improves the quality of life for all of our citizens."
Brewer is the latest state politician to eye Mexico's manufacturing industry as a economic driver for Arizona.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has been leading the call for more business cooperation between the two states. This summer, he was joined by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on a trade mission to Hermosillo and Mexico City.
As Arizona's top trading partner, Mexico accounted for 33.5 percent ($5.97 billion) of all exports and 35.1 percent ($6.16 billion) of all imports in 2011.
A week into his new post, Escalante, 53, said increasing trade between Arizona and Mexico and recruiting investors into the region is his top priority. …