INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES DISCUSS BORDER ISSUE

March 31, 2016

INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES DISCUSS BORDER ISSUES AND CHANGING ECONOMY

Brought together by MountainStar Sports Group, the El Paso Chihuahuas, the San Diego Padres, and The Borderplex Alliance, unprecedented visit by San Diego/Tijuana Economic Delegation marks the second meeting of U.S. - Mexico border stakeholders

EL PASO, Texas – Today, international elected officials, economic development organizations, and business representatives from along the U.S. - Mexico Border came together for a summit to strengthen their friendship and find ways to engage in mutual promotion of the border region’s prospects. As part of a gathering conceptualized by the MountainStar Sports Group, the El Paso Chihuahuas, the San Diego Padres, and The Borderplex Alliance, the summit brought together El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, Cd. Juárez Mayor Javier Gonzalez Mocken, and El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar, as well as delegations from San Diego and Tijuana, for a discussion regarding cross-border commerce, tourism, and joint opportunities to promote the border region as a great investment.

“The objective at MountainStar Sports Group is to improve the quality of life and promote economic development in the El Paso-Juarez region.  We are thrilled to host the San Diego Padres here in El Paso, as we know they share our vision when it comes to baseball on the border.  We are all quite pleased that today’s events have brought these groups together.  That was our objective all along,” said Josh Hunt, CEO of MountainStar Sports Group.

“Today's meeting brought together regional leaders from both sides of the border to exchange ideas that help improve the unique needs of our communities. This work will strengthen our friendship and help us develop a coordinated message so that we can advocate for the entire U.S. - Mexico border region,” said El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser. “Thanks to the vision of the El Paso Chihuahuas and the San Diego Padres, our communities are not only benefiting from increased international cooperation, but we are getting the chance to showcase our city and these baseball teams, too.”

“While individual border communities have distinct needs and priorities, we have so much in common. Working together to address border-wide priorities from investment opportunities by the private sector to environmental concerns like water conservation, we can find solutions that have a mutual benefit as sister border communities,” stated Cd. Juárez Mayor Javier Gonzalez Mocken. “After years of strife, we have fought back and rebuilt our cities and the border. By working together and strengthening our alliances, we are battling the negative stereotypes that have surrounded the border and are here today to say we’re ready to play ball and compete on the international stage.”

Earlier this month, a group of business, trade and economic development organizations along the U.S. - Mexico Border held the first private sector-led meeting of border entities. Using “Baseball on the Border” as an impetus, today’s summit marks the second meeting of border stakeholders coming together to address mutual concerns. The delegation is already making plans to continue dialogue and is planning to attend a third gathering in San Diego in the coming weeks.

Despite the interconnectedness of the border and their intertwined economies, the challenges faced by border communities are not understood by some in their respective governments or international business leaders. Today’s summit and consequent gatherings will help bring attention to the border region, promote its large, bilingual workforce, and highlight its economic promise.

“Deliberate regional collaboration allows us to pool the diverse assets our areas offer as a whole and puts the border region on the map for investors in a way that we as individual regions cannot do alone,” stated Rolando Pablos, Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance, which helped bring the summit to life. “Once MountainStar Sports Group announced they would be bringing the two baseball teams together, it was the logical next step to bring together the two delegations of civic leaders to further discuss issues, challenges, and initiatives common to our regions. We welcome the delegations to the North American Borderplex anytime and know that by strengthening our ties, we can work as one to attract private and public investments that bring quality, high-paying jobs to our regions.”

“This was not only a chance to build a relationship between two regions that face a tremendous amount of similar challenges, but a chance to share best-practices on what’s working and to look at how we’re promoting the border as a whole,” said Richard Dayoub, President and CEO of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. “Our collaborative efforts will help cement the border’s place at the top of the best investments.”

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