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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and retired Ambassador Douglas Hartwick recently served on a panel at the Ninth Annual International State of the State luncheon, presented by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

The trio addressed a number of topics, but, under the moderating tact of Larry E. Penley, Ph.D, president and chief academic officer for Thunderbird School of Global Management, they each stressed the importance of “internationalism” when it comes to business.

Their keys to improving international trade:


  1. Take a hard look at other states and cities and what they have done and are doing.
  2. Synchronization and coordination with the business community can be improved.


  1. A great immigration bill must be passed at the federal level.
  2. Greater coordination amongst business, academia and government is needed.
  3. Make sure public support is there for elected officials to work in this area.


  1. Federal immigration reform – no other region in the country will benefit more.
  2. No more divisive legislation at the state level.
  3. Educate our own business community on the international business opportunities that are available.

Stanton said Phoenix will be opening an office in Mexico City to promote Phoenix as a great place to do business.

I checked with Vladimir Saldaña, a partner with Guerra Castellanos y Asociados, our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) affiliate in Mexico City, and he had this to say:

“The opening of Phoenix’s official trade office at Mexico City is a decision on the right track both for Mexico and Arizona and certainly a virtuous scenario for the bilateral relationship. Arizona is Mexico´s first trade partner and with a 389 mile border, Arizona and Mexico have the clear opportunity to drive economic growth through a more dynamic trade. The new trade office could be the beginning of a stronger relationship between border cities and an opportunity to strengthen ties not only at the state level but as a national partner.”

Hamer stated that over the last three years, Arizona has done more to improve its competitive climate than any other state.

He also said, “We have the most beautiful state in the nation, with 200,000 jobs related to tourism here.  This is a great place to do business.”

And Hamer added:  “We’ve got to tell the world what we’re doing.”  Sounds like a PR initiative…

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. And with the recent announcement that Volaris will be offering nonstop service to Mexico City from here, the idea of an official trade office is even more appealing.

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