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Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico:
Day 2: Trade, Investment, Climate and MOU

California-Mexico Mission Blog

Yesterday’s packed schedule began with an in-depth breakfast briefing on trade and investment by experts on the economic, business and tourism ties between Mexico and California.

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment, was the first speaker to be introduced. She thanked the Governor’s Office of Business Development (GO-Biz), adding that the office plays an important role in achieving the goals of increasing trade and investment in California. The Ambassador urged the present business delegation to submit their input, saying that the office needs to hear from the business community on how to increase exports and direct investment into California.

Senator Correa
Senator Correa

Senator Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) spoke after Ambassador Kounalakis. He began his remarks by pointing to Disneyland, which is located in his home district. The biggest tourist group to visit Disneyland each year is from Mexico, he said. He further stressed the importance of trade with Mexico by adding that Mexico is California’s largest trading partner and that trade between Mexico and California is three times greater than trade between California and Texas. The senator referred back to the opening reception of the trade mission, when Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said that delegates should prepare for a “successful trade mission.” Correa asked “What does ‘successful’ mean?” He questioned how many delegates will continue to follow-up with their business contacts after the trade mission ends, but expressed hope that attendees will find their “diamond in the rough” in Mexico.

Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) followed Correa, calling Mexico a nexus for the movement of goods. He said he calls Mexico a nexus because goods come into California and then continue on to the rest of the United States.

Dorothy Lutter
Dorothy Lutter talks about Mexico’s economy during the Trade and Investment Breakfast Briefing

Top officials from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Dorothy Lutter, minister counselor for Commercial Services, and Kemy Monahan, minister counselor for Commercial Affairs, joined forces to answer questions from the delegation concerning business operations in Mexico. Lutter also gave a PowerPoint presentation (available in the Trade Mission Blog's  “Documents/Resources” page), where she dispelled misconceptions regarding manufacturing in Mexico. For example, she mentioned that Mexico is the fourth largest provider of IT services in the world and that the aviation sector in the country is booming.

Visit California
Delegates watch a Visit California promotional video

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, also spoke at the briefing and played a few of the promotional videos that Visit California has created to market California as a top destination to visitors. Tourism is a very competitive industry because it is so lucrative, Beteta said. Luckily, tourism in California is booming—it is the most visited state in the country. Even though tourism is a service, it is still considered an export and is factored into the state’s GDP. Every year, travelers pump nearly $110 billion into California’s economy.

Air travel is the key target of Visit California’s marketing, as air travelers spend three times as much money as a ground transportation travelers do. The average Mexican air traveler will spend the equivalent value of 500 pounds of exported almonds. Delegates watch a Visit California promotional video.

Caroline Beteta’s PowerPoint presentation can be found in the Trade Mission Blog's “Documents/Resources” page.

To view Visit California’s Dreamer video, see For more information on Visit California, please visit

After the breakfast briefing, the delegation headed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Mary Nichols, president of the California Air Resources Board, and a panel of experts discussed climate change and the importance of a strong collaborative relationship between Mexico and United States. The panel consisted of: Juan Carlos Belausteguigoita Rius, executive director of the Mario Molina Center; Nathaniel Keohane, vice president of International Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund; Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, undersecretary for planning and environmental policy at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

After this high-level dialogue, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.; Undersecretary Lacy; and General Director Jorge Rescala, National Forestry Commission of Mexico, ascended the stage to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to combat climate change.

MOU Signing
(From left) Undersecretary Lacy, Governor Brown, and General Director Rescala

Before signing the MOU, Undersecretary Lacy said that Mexico and California have a long history of environmental cooperation. “The agreement signed today will take our joint work to a whole new level of cooperation, which will reflect in tangible and concrete results that will inure to our mutual benefit,” he said.

After witnessing the MOU signing, some delegates chose to attend one of the cultural events of the trade mission: a visit to the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary. It is the largest cathedral in the Americas and the seat of the Archdiocese of Mexico.

In the evening, delegates headed to the Soumaya Museum for an match-making evening reception with Mexican business members. Governor Brown and Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne also made an appearance at the museum.

After the reception, delegates and some members of the California legislature attended an evening dinner at the Hacienda de los Morales. The original manor house of this restaurant was built in the 16th century.

Mexico Mission Blog

The Governor’s Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico is set for July 27–30. For regular updates, please follow the CalChamber California-Mexico Mission blog at

Featured Headlines

Governor Brown Signs Energy Agreement with Mexico
Governor’s Office, July 29, 2014

Governor Brown Signs Agreement to Foster Cooperation Between Mexican and American Colleges and Universities
Governor’s Office,July 29, 2014

California and Mexico – a win-win relationship
California Department of Food and Agriculture – July 29, 2014

Visit California and Aeromexico Launch Marketing Campaign Promoting Travel to the Golden State
Visit California, July 29, 2014

Photo Release: Day 1: Governor Brown’s Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico
California Governor's Office, July 28, 2014

Governor Brown Meets with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña
California Governor's Office, July 28, 2014

Governor Brown Signs Agreement with Mexico to Reduce Dangerous Greenhouse Gases
California Governor's Office, July 28, 2014

Secretary Ross in Mexico City for Governor Brown’s trade mission
California Department of Food and Agriculture – July 28, 2014

Governor, Trade Mission Delegation Arrive in Mexico
CalChamber, July 28, 2014

Governor Brown in Mexico for economic summit
KCRA, July 27, 2014

Updated: California Governor to Kick Off Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico on Monday
California Governor's Office, July 27, 2014

Actualización: El gobernador de California dará inicio a una misión de comercio e inversiones a México el lunes
California Governor's Office, July 27, 2014

Trade Mission to Mexico to Begin Sunday
CalChamber, July 25, 2014

Governor, Mexico Foreign Minister Tout Longstanding Mexico-California Ties
CalChamber, July 24, 2014

México y California se reúnen para refirmar compromisos
Univision 19 – July 24, 2014

Governor heading south on 4-day trade mission
KCRA 3 – July 23, 2014

Governor Brown to travel to Mexico, focus on Trade and Jobs
KTXL Fox 40 – July 23, 2014

Photo Release: Governor Brown Meets with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Today in Sacramento
California Governor's Office, July 23, 2014

Photo Release: Governor Brown Meets with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Today in Sacramento
California Governor's Office, July 23, 2014

Governor Brown to Meet with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ahead of Next Week’s Trade Mission to Mexico
California Governor's Office, July 21, 2014

El Canciller Meade Inicia Este Martes Gira de Trabajo en California
Mexico Foreign Ministry, July 21, 2014

Governor’s Mexico Mission Accepting Delegate Applications
CalChamber, May 13, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown to Lead Trade Mission to Mexico in July
Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2014

Jerry Brown Will Lead Trade Mission to Mexico
Political Blotter, April 29, 2014

Governor Brown to Lead Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico
California Governor's Office, April 29, 2014



Blog by (Mrs.)
Susanne T. Stirling
Vice President, International Affairs

Blog Home Page:

Day 1: Sunday, July 27, 2014
Day 2: Monday, July 28, 2014
Day 3: Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Day 4: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Governor Brown to Lead Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico
(April 29, 2014)

The Mission will focus on boosting direct investment in the state, expanding bilateral economic and environmental cooperation and connecting California businesses with new opportunities and partnerships.

Governor Brown will be joined by a diverse delegation of California government, business, economic development, investment and policy leaders on the Mission, which will be organized by the California Chamber of Commerce.

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