PHOENIX – Governor Janice K. Brewer, together with four state agencies and several southern Arizona border communities, has announced the release of the Border Communities Roadmap.
Announcing the Roadmap’s release, Gov. Brewer said, “Expanding the capacity of our commercial ports of entry, strengthening our trade corridors, and developing a focused trade and transportation strategy for Arizona will foster job creation and attract new business and investment that will benefit the entire state.”
The Border Communities Roadmap is an initiative of Gov. Brewer that examined and developed a strategic action plan with economic development priorities and policy direction to foster economic prosperity for Arizona’s border communities. The Roadmap process involved a collaborative effort between the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Department of Transportation, and the Arizona Office of Tourism working closely with the communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton and Yuma.
As gateways, the Arizona border communities enable the flow of billions of dollars of trade and millions of cross-border travelers each year.
“As we work toward strengthening Arizona’s economic vitality and solidifying our position in the global marketplace, we view our partnership with Mexico as one element that must be appropriately integrated into Arizona’s future,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “By investing in transportation infrastructure and expanding our ports of entry while looking at the opportunities for importing and exporting, we can ensure job creation and economic growth for Arizona.”
Five game-changers or significant shifts that are catalysts for new opportunities are presented:
- Build upon Arizona border community assets
- Form new strategic alliances
- Harness Mexican economic shifts
- Leverage key commercial corridors for market connectivity
- Support emerging business development opportunities
The document discusses each of the game-changers in depth and presents a five-pronged action response for border communities:
- Build a border business case. Arizona’s strategic position to Mexico’s growing economy is a major economic asset for each border community. Understanding the bi-national economy and communicating a strong business case is imperative for Arizona’s border communities to be successful.
- Enhance border economic viability. The Roadmap discusses building on community assets, developing the labor force needed to meet industry demand, and focusing on business sectors that align with the economic vision.
- Improve border community image. Marketing and communicating about the economic opportunity of Arizona’s border communities can help change the dialogue from its current focus on security to strategic positioning of the region for business development.
- Strengthen relationships and foster collaborations. A concerted and coordinated public/private relationship-building effort must occur at every level – local, regional, state, and national. The Roadmap calls for the establishment of a “Border Brain Trust” – state agencies in partnership with the border communities – to move the strategic action plan forward.
- Focus on border infrastructure that links border communities to key commerce corridors and promotes global connectivity. Enhancing competitiveness and sustainable economic growth requires an efficient multi-modal transportation system and adequate infrastructure to meet current and projected demand.
The Border Communities Roadmap
can be downloaded at http://www.azmc.org/border-roadmap