The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah), in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration, are leading a trade mission to Guadalajara, Mexico March 14 – 18.

The mission will include key networking opportunities, a special media event highlighting Utah’s economic offerings, and will conclude with Expo ANTAD, Mexico’s largest food retail trade show. This is Utah’s third trade mission to Mexico in the last five years.

“Proximity to the United States, combined with recent advances in access to IT, has created an open and welcoming market for Utah products and services,” said Brett Heimburger, director of international trade and diplomacy at GOED. “This trade mission will provide opportunities for Utah companies to meet directly with both retail buyers and potential distributors to drive increased sales in Mexico.”

The trade mission aims to strengthen existing trade partnerships between Utah and Mexico, matching business leaders from both sides of the border. Mexico buys more U.S. products than any other nation except Canada. Around $1.5 billion of daily trade crosses the U.S.-Mexican border.

“Utah’s exports to Mexico have grown more than 470 percent over the last 10 years, and there is still plenty of untapped potential for Utah companies,” said Derek B. Miller, WTC Utah president and CEO. “We want to help Utah companies maximize on the opportunities that exist in Mexico. We have carefully organized networking events and site visits designed to connect trade mission participants with potential partners, industry leaders and government officials.”

Another objective of the trade mission is to increase investment from Mexican businesses in Utah. As a central hub of the western United States, Utah is a great distribution center for reaching U.S. customers. The state also boasts a low cost of living and a young, multilingual workforce, which is an important resource for foreign businesses looking to expand. More than 120 languages are spoken daily in Utah businesses.

Currently, more than 5,000 Utah companies are owned by natives of Mexico or descendants of Mexican immigrants. In Ogden, the state’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is opening a new chapter this month to provide even more resources for Latinos hoping to open and operate their own businesses.

“As a small business it’s a critical opportunity to develop credibility for yourself when you’re traveling with the state of Utah,” said Natalie Kaddas of Kaddas Enterprises. Natalie represented her company on the governor-led trade mission to Mexico in 2014 and is part of the 2016 delegation. “We were able to solidify our working relationships with companies in Mexico. This time we’re looking to find other industries and tap into other markets.”

Though it’s too late to participate in the Mexico trade mission, there are multiple trade missions throughout the year. Contact the WTC Utah or GOED’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office for information about upcoming trade missions.

Businesses and Partners Participating in the Utah Trade Mission to Guadalajara:

  • Basic Research
  • Boutique Cosmetics
  • Choice Foods
  • FiberFix
  • The Frank Granato Importing Company
  • inWhatLanguage
  • Jaseboards USA Inc.
  • Kaddas Enterprises, Inc.
  • NewLook International
  • Norbest, LLC
  • The United Natural Products Alliance
  • The Utah Science Technology and Research Agency
  • The Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • World Trade Center Utah