Story by Jude Joffe-Block
Fronteras Desk

City leaders in Phoenix are trying to follow the example of their neighbors in the Southwest that have successfully established a business presence across the border.

The city council is set to vote Tuesday on opening a trade office in Mexico's capital.

PHX City Council Fronteras photo large

Last April, Phoenix city leaders visited San Antonio's Mexico City trade office, which is serving as a model for a potential phoenix office there. Photo: Jude Joffe-Block, Fronteras Desk.

Last spring, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other city leaders visited San Antonio's trade office in Mexico City.

It's one of three offices the Texas city has in Mexico, and they have helped to build a vibrant cross-border business relationship between San Antonio and Mexico.

Now Stanton says establishing a permanent presence in Mexico will help Phoenix do the same.

"I think it is fair to say that Phoenix's foray will be in similar size and scope as what San Antonio is doing, which by all accounts has been a very successful model," Stanton told Fronteras Desk.

The "Casa San Antonio" in Mexico City is staffed by one full time employee and a handful of contractors.

"San Antonio was ahead of us when it comes to trade and tourism with Mexico," Stanton said. "And as mayor I plan to catch up and even surpass them."

Stanton says Mexico is already an important trade partner for Phoenix businesses, but there is a lot of room to grow.

"The other states around us, Texas and California, are doing more," Stanton said. "As mayor I am always going to act in the best interest of my local economy and increasing trade and tourism is a big part of the future of our economy, so we are going to do this."

The state of Arizona doesn't have an office in Mexico's capital.

Stanton said if he is able to open a Mexico office, he would partner with other business groups in the state that are also trying to boost their presence across the border.