POSTED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 7:19pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 7:24pm
McAllen, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Bridging the Latin American Pacific coast with the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the Baluarte Bridge and new highway from Mazatlán to Durango, Mexico could produce an economic boom that would generate hundreds of jobs and the need for more skilled labor. Over 200 students, educators, administrators, government and business officials attended the Bi-National Innovation Conference hosted at the South Texas College Technology Campus on Sept. 27, 2013 in McAllen to learn about the potential economic impact the bridge and re-routed traffic to the Rio Grande Valley could have on the region.
“This part of Deep South Texas is absolutely the right location at the right time," said STC President Shirley A. Reed. "The development of the third coast in Mexico and the new highway from Mazatlán to Durango will create a new corridor that will make Hidalgo County the entry point for produce from Mexico and other markets from Latin America, as well as the corridor for container shipments from Asian markets for distribution in the U.S."
The conference, which was a bi-national collaborative effort between South Texas College and the Instituto Internacional de Estudios Superiores in Reynosa, Mexico provided entrepreneurs and the business community with information about the new cross-border economic opportunities that could arise so that they may develop new business plans and adjust existing strategies to potential opportunities. The first part of the conference was held on Sept. 26 in Reynosa.
The increased traffic that the new highway could create and re-route from Nogales to local entry points along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas will require new services, and the produce industry will require specialized services and new storage facilities for their products.
Among the speakers at the conference were Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Business Economist Jesús Cañas, EB-5 Regional Center Director Roy Cantú, Frost Bank Senior Vice President of Capital Markets Karlo Morgado, The University of Texas-San Antonio Center for Community Business & Research Director Thomas Tunstall, Texas International Produce Association President & CEO Bret Erickson, Mission Economic Development Corporation CEO Alex Meade, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Agustín García, Starr County Industrial Foundation President & CEO and STC Board of Trustees Chair Rose Benavidez.
The presentations and panel discussions focused on the economic outlook for the region, how to finance international projects, Eagle Ford Shale, cross-border training, economic development innovation and public safety