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Adler, Renteria in Mexico on trade, climate mission

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Mayor Steve Adler and City Council Member Pio Renteria are on a two-pronged mission to Mexico this week – strengthening Austin’s economic ties with Mexico and championing efforts to combat climate change.

In a prepared statement, Adler said, “Economic growth and environmental stewardship enhance one another in Austin. We thrive because we prioritize both.”

Renteria and Adler joined the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce delegation visiting Guadalajara on Monday. There they attended meetings at the University of Guadalajara and creative tech sector companies such as iTexico, which is headquartered in Austin.

The mayor said on his Facebook page, “We discussed increased tech connections” and Guadalajara’s “desire to join Austin as an international science city.”

He added, “Did you know that Mexico, at $92.5 billion, is by far Texas’ top export market, and that small and medium-sized businesses account for 93% of Texas exports?”

On Tuesday, the delegation went to Mexico City, where Adler and Renteria will be participating in the C40 Mayors Summit 2016, which is expected to bring together the largest group of local leaders and climate stakeholders since the 2015 United Nations climate change summit in Paris. Adler also attended that conference.

On Thursday, the mayor is scheduled to speak on a panel entitled “Compact, Connected, Resilient Cities: Planning Our Future City.”

“Cities will help lead the way on climate change, because many of the relevant decisions with transit, renewable energy generation, and conservation are being made at the local level,” Adler said in a press statement.

He is fond of pointing out that Austin has become a world leader in sustainability, committing to goals such as carbon-free municipal operations by 2020, zero waste by 2040 and net-zero carbon emissions community-wide by 2050.

The summit is bringing together more than 40 mayors from the world’s largest and most influential cities and hundreds of urban and sustainability leaders, as well as business leaders of Fortune 500 companies, the statement said.

Members of the Austin business delegation include GAHCC executives Mark Madrid and Vicky Sepulveda as well as 12 business representatives. Among those on the trip are the mayor’s wife, Diane Land of DT Land Group; Dax Patton of SXSW; Jesus Salas of CodersLink; Jean Carlos Carrasquel of OnRamp; Patricia Del Rincon of Keller Williams Realty; Nick Barreiro of Clay Imports; Patriek Karayil of MeetOut and Pinnacle Infinity; Donovan Miller of Capital Factory; Matt Swinney of Fashion X; Julio Heckmuller of Meteora Inc.; Elizabeth Mims of the Austin Film Festival; and economist Angelos Angelou. Also in attendance will be David Colligan, manager of the city’s global business expansion division.

During their time in Mexico City, the delegates will visit three film companies, including TV Azteca, Argos and Bandidos Films, as well as fashion and graphics businesses and the State of Texas Mexico Office.

After the conference, the Austin group is scheduled to travel to Monterrey and Saltillo, where delegates will visit businesses as well as universities, giving the Austinites a chance to interact with trading partners and possibly develop new business relationships.

Photo by Alex Polezhaev (Flickr: Mexico City. Zocalo) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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