“Unity Makes Strength”: Mexico and the United States

By Fernanda Duque Hernández

An interview with Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona.

Most people have heard of the now popular adage: Unity makes strength. In this spirit, Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona highlighted – during his participation at the World Economic Forum on Latin America – the importance of alliances between cities across the Americas to strengthen commerce and to find solutions to security matters, climate change and mobility. All common problems that trouble cities across the globe.

“My goal is to build a much stronger relationship between my city, Phoenix, and Mexico City as well other important cities of Mexico like Guadalajara, like Zapopan, like Hermosillo,” Stanton told Mexico News Network, prior to his participation in a session titled “the New Urban Agenda”, where he met with the mayors of Medellín (Colombia), Aníbal Gaviria, and Mexico City’s Head of Government, Miguel Angel Mancera.

Mexico’s growing middle class has caught and kept the attention of the world and the empowerment of this sector is seen an opportunity for foreign companies and consultants looking to trade with Mexican startups. Mayor Stanton believes that in 30 years the country will be on the top 5 of the world’s leading economies.

“Phoenix is Mexico’s next door neighbor. And so as Mexican economy goes, so goes our economy and in many ways we are one economic unit.”

mexico news Greg Stanton

But the interest of Phoenix goes beyond of the economic. As México News Network has covered before, one Mexico’s most valued exports is its educated workforce. According to government statistics, each year around 118,000 engineers graduate from Mexican universities. In fact, Mexico holds 6th place in the global number of engineer graduates, more than Germany, Brazil and Spain.

The excellence of Mexican professionals has been noted by many countries that have offered them the opportunity to innovate and work in their industries.

“We’re going to need that talent base to compete together against other parts of the world”. Mayor Greg Stanton added that currently there are already education exchanges between Arizona’s universities and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (aka, Tec de Monterrey).

But in order to benefit from trade and education agreements, the United States needs more appropriate legislation on immigration. According to Stanton, Phoenix has an important representation of Latinos, most of them young people who have grown up in the U.S. and are becoming local entrepreneurs and a very important part of the economy of Arizona.

“We call [them] dreamers… So I believe that if we can pass a comprehensive immigration reform, if we can improve education and make education affordable for those young people, we’re going to be a giant when comes international trade… Not just here in Mexico but in Central America and the growing economies in Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere.”

In the meantime, Greg Stanton will continue aiming for alliances to exchange solutions, perspectives and establish trade deals with Mexican and Latin American cities.

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