Governor Jan Brewer has named Ignacio “Nacho” Escalante the Director of Trade and Investment for the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s (AMC) office in Hermosillo, Mexico.
As Director, Mr. Escalante will serve as a liaison and conduit for Mexican business owners seeking investment opportunities in Arizona, and vice versa. His mission will be to help facilitate business growth and relocation in both Arizona and Sonora, benefitting the larger economy of our border region.
“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,” said Governor Brewer. “Mr. Escalante will be a valuable asset in this effort, given his extensive experience in capital finance and keen understanding of economic development in the border region. 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.”
Mr. Escalante has more than three decades of experience in business and finance, including 10 years as General Director of the Economic Development Council of Sonora. In that role, he focused upon attracting foreign capital investment. Most notably, he was involved in the 2005 expansion of a Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Hermosillo.
“I see multiple opportunities to achieve our goal of increasing trade between Arizona and Mexico and attracting new investment by manufacturers and other companies,” said Mr. Escalante. “A stronger economy will create jobs and prosperity benefiting people on both sides of the border.”
The State of Arizona first opened a trade office in Hermosillo in 1992. Budget cuts and the economic recession forced State officials to eliminate the Director of Trade and Investment position in 2008. Now, the position is returning thanks to a joint funding agreement between the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Arizona Commerce Authority.
“Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico is critical to our state’s economic prosperity,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Sonora serves as Arizona’s gateway to Mexico, and establishing a Director of Trade and Investment in this pivotal location is instrumental in strengthening the connection among companies and markets in Arizona and in Mexico.”
Mr. Escalante received his CPA from the University of Monterrey, in Nuevo León, Mexico (1985). A long-time resident of Sonora, he is fluent in English and Spanish.
In his new position, Mr. Escalante will work closely with the Governor’s Office, Arizona-Mexico Commission and Arizona Commerce Authority to educate and advise Arizona companies interested in doing business in Sonora and other regions of Mexico. He also will assist companies in their search for suitable contacts in Mexico for distribution, representation, joint ventures and other commercial activities fundamental to Arizona’s economic growth.
Additionally, Mr. Escalante will assist State agencies in the planning and execution of industry-specific meetings, conferences and seminars that promote Arizona in areas such as commerce; transportation and trade corridors; tourism; educational institutions; and health-related services.
As Arizona’s top trading partner, Mexico accounted for 33.5% ($5.97 billion) of all exports and 35.1% ($6.16 billion) of all imports in 2011. In 2011, Arizona exports to Mexico exceeded pre-recession levels, reaching an all-time high of $5.97 billion.