Nearly 100 business, community and government leaders from San Diego and Baja California begin a trade trip in Mexico City Sunday to bolster U.S.-Mexico relations.
After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its 15th Binational Delegation to Mexico City through Wednesday.
The group, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, are set to meet with Mexican leaders and government officials to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties and discuss opportunities for collaborations on business, border infrastructure and environmental projects.
“While this is our first trip back to Mexico City since the pandemic, our efforts to support and strengthen our binational voice have been going strong,” said Jerry Sanders, a former San Diego mayor and current chamber president and CEO. “These trips are so important to the chamber’s work to establish a strong relationship with Mexico’s leadership and business leaders.”
This year’s Mexico City delegation is the chamber’s largest, representing a diverse mix of San Diego- and Baja-based industries and organizations.
Elected officials making the jaunt include Rep. Scott Peters, state Assembly members David Alvarez and Chris Ward, San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera and members Joe La Cava, Marni von Wilpert, and Stephen Whitburn, and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Nora Vargas.
Mexican members of the delegation include Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero Ramirez, Diputada Maite Vargas Meraz, Baja State Secretary of Economy and Innovation Kurt Honold and Tijuana City Council members Rogelia Arzola and Juan Carlos Hank.
Delegates will meet with a variety of Mexican federal agency representatives and also will “convey support and appreciation for binational efforts to address transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley in the region,” officials said. They also plan to inquire about funding resources to advance border infrastructure and efficiency.
Other planned events include a reception with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Rounding out the agenda are meetings with:
- Members of the Mexican Senate.
- Mtra. Lydia Antonio de la Garza, a general director who oversees commercial treaties for the Secretariat of Economy, to discuss regional incentives and foreign direct investment opportunities.
- Roberto Velasco, chief officer for the North America Unit of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, for a forum on border infrastructure projects such as ports of entry, including efforts to reopen PedWest.
- Leadership from the Mexican section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, among others, regarding efforts to address pollution in the Tijuana River Valley.