Gov. Gary R. Herbert recently concluded a successful trade mission to Mexico to broaden collaboration opportunities in education, innovation and technology.

“Utah and Mexico have a rich history of economic trade,” Gov. Herbert told a gathering of reporters from the major Mexican media. “We can maximize the expertise and business opportunities we have in common and explore new ones. There is room to deepen that relationship to benefit both economies.”

Thirty-nine business leaders and six government leaders from Utah accompanied the governor on the trip. Utah exports to Mexico were nearly $550 million in 2013. This trade mission was designed to capitalize on new investment opportunities and build an even stronger trade relationship with one of the state’s closest neighbors. Wells Fargo was a major sponsor of this trade mission.

“The Mexico of today is a leading export country based on innovative entrepreneurs and progressive, young leaders,” said Spencer P. Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “With Mexico’s GDP at $1.327 trillion in 2013, Utah has tremendous opportunities for expanding business relationships in Mexico.”

The Utah delegation met with Secretary of Foreign Relations José Antonio Meade, the Governors of the States of Mexico, Puebla and Jalisco, the mayor of Mexico City and more than 250 local business people at various business meetings in Mexico City and in Guadalajara as well as a networking reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne at his residence in Mexico City.

The governor and the delegation held productive discussions on several issues including increased business collaboration and air quality improvement. During the mission, the company leaders met with Mexican business counterparts and three Utah headquartered companies, Converus, Space Monkey and dōTERRA, announced plans to expand business relations with Mexico.

The air quality discussion was one of the highlights of the trade mission and was made possible in large part due to the generosity of Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City. Mexico, once touted as the most polluted city in the world, has managed to cut most of its pollution components in half in the last 20 years, despite a growing population of more than 20 million. To learn from Mexico’s experiences, an Environmental Roundtable was held. Sponsored by the Impact Hub, the U.S. delegation was joined by city ministers of environment, science, transportation and the general director for urban pollution of the National Institute for Climate Change along with other Mexican officials that have been heavily involved in improving Mexico City’s air quality over the last decade.

During the trade mission, the Utah delegation was treated with the utmost hospitality. The visit received overwhelmingly positive press coverage, with more than 40 stories circulating in print and electronic media. Outlets mentioned Governor Herbert’s meetings with Mexico City Mayor Mancera, Estado de Mexico Governor Eruviel Avila, Foreign Minister Meade and Puebla Governor Moreno Valle. All stories highlighted the fact that the trade delegation, headed by Governor Herbert, aimed to facilitate commerce, particularly in environmentally-friendly technologies.

A friendship and cooperation agreement was signed by the State of Mexico and the State of Utah. This agreement is a promise that the State of Utah and State of Mexico will promote economic relationships, tourism, education and culture. The agreement was entered into in the spirit of friendship and cooperation. Moving forward, the rich relationship between Mexico and Utah holds great opportunities for economic success.