Crosby/Huffman Chamber Luncheon – Impact of Mexico on local economy outlined

Pete Garcia

CROSBY – At last month’s Chamber luncheon, local merchants heard an expert on trade between Latin American countries and Mexico outline the status and promise to local economies of mutual trade.

The amount of growth of trade between the U.S. and Mexico between 2010 and 2011 is from $435 Billion to over $500 Billion. The amount of exports alone from Texas is $87 Million annually and the total trade between Texas and Mexico is about $170 Million per year. Thirty percent of all exports from Texas in goods and services go to Mexico.

“So when you think about doing business there is a reason for agreements such as N.A.F.T.A.” said Pete Garcia, former Consul for Continental Airlines to Mexico at the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 20. International trade agreements have now been set throughout the world giving preferential treatment between countries. The three newest impacting this area include Columbia, Panama and Peru.

“With the expansion of the Panama Canal products will come right through our ports here and that will be good for our businesses. Columbia, oil is the primary product, there are a lot of opportunities in Columbia.”

Pete Garcia is the founder of Pete Garcia International, having invested 30 years in airline and aviation strategic planning, responsible for profit and loss of over $2 Billion dollars. His resume would include having climbed from reservation clerk to Vice President at Continental Airlines. Now his company sports clients like Aero Mexico, Merril Lynch, UBS, Mexico Tourism Board, DOB Systems and Minneapolis Airport Systems, among others. He has come to be called the Father of Latinization.

As he recounted his contribution to the developing market, the attendants heard descriptions of how Houston airports landed the description of international gateway, “Miami owned that tag almost exclusively for many years before Continental became involved in the Latin American Market.”

“Peru has been growing at about 8% G.D.P. They have a tremendous amount of resources that have been recently discovered.”

We are not the only ones going after that market, China has been making tremendous investment in Latin America.”

His advice for merchants wishing to do business in Latin America and Mexico might be summed up with four major points. Firstly, research the companies you want to do business with in regard to personnel, hubs and contacts, it is important to be doing business with who you wish to be doing business. Secondly, get to know the local cultural habits. At this point many of us learned that there are many more cultural diversities of etiquette in various parts of Mexico and Latin America than we were aware and why observation of cultural practices are important. Thirdly, be prepared to not close your deal or agreement on your first visit, but do prepare to develop a relationship with your prospect. Fourthly, understand and prepare to learn that relationships are about compromises.