The president of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce testified at the international trade Congressional hearing in Tucson this week.

Lea Márquez-Peterson said she wants Congress to understand the impediments and challenges Arizona businesses face in trying to work with companies and customers in Mexico.

The chamber represents a number of small businesses that want to do business on both sides of the border, she said.

"Financing and access to capital continues to be a challenge," Márquez-Peterson said.

Citing federal statistics, Márquez-Peterson said every $1 billion in international exports contributes to more than 6,000 jobs in the United States.

But the Mexican economy is an advantage for Arizona companies, she said.

"A lot of us in Arizona don't realize that the GDP is growing at a faster race in Sonora as compared to Arizona," she said.

There are misconceptions about the economic opportunities in international trade with Mexico, she said. Namely, the economies differ.

Northern Mexico was in a real estate boom as Arizona was just beginning its recovery from the recession, showing there is opportunity for Arizona businesses south of the international border.