JOEY GOMEZ

RGV Business Journal

McALLEN - A recent visit by Mexican businessmen bodes well for the region. Local businesses should really start developing a relationship with foreign companies looking to establish themselves into the U.S, according to economic officials.

Partly due to crime and a growing business community just south of the border, leaders with the McAllen Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) say they are closely observing an influx of people moving away from Mexico.

Foreign investors are increasingly noticing the area as a stepping stone for launching their business into the U.S. market, according to the MEDC.

“We are seeing an increase, and some of that quite frankly is the crime issues in Mexico, we are seeing people move away from that,” said MEDC CEO Keith Patridge. “I think now they (investors) are at a point where they have had several good years in Mexico, and at a company level are financially able to start expanding and growing internationally (and) that’s what we want to help them do.”

Patridge spoke following a brief a visit with with more than 20 businesses and organizations from the Mexican state of Veracruz coming to see and learn how to do business in the United States.

The visit was an exploratory trip by those Mexican businesses who are trying to identify the opportunities of exporting, especially agricultural products from the McAllen area, according to the MEDC.

“We won’t know the results until we start seeing business being conducted between the two areas, that is what’s important and that’s what we are looking for,” Patridge said. “What we want to do is work with them. And if we can continue to make it very fast to move things through McAllen, then it’s a business sector.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, if we can help them meet their needs then that is what we want to do,” Patridge said.

The group took a small tour through the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone, and listened to various representatives from IBC Bank on the availability of loans, and applying for them. They also were informed about the opportunities at the Delta Mercado, newest market facility in Edcouch initiated by Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

“The visit was very fruitful,” said Mexican Consul Erasmo Martinez Martinez. “They were able to get all kinds of information that was helpful for them, as well as all the rules they need to comply with in order to export and establish a platform in McAllen.”