May 12, 2000

NAFTA Changes Offer Opportunities To San Diego Business

Local businesses have a lot to gain when the new NAFTA regulations take effect next year as the lucrative maquilador industry looks to San Diego to supply parts, components and machinery for exported goods.

District 1 Supervisor Greg Cox welcomed the opportunity presented by NAFTA 2001 to encourage business executives to actively pursue transactions with Mexico. "This is a golden opportunity for increased trade with our southern neighbor. Up until now, the maquiladora industry has purchased parts and supplies primarily from foreign countries, spending almost $10 billion in 1997 - more than half of which went to Asia," Cox said. "Now, the maquiladoras will be looking to San Diego for these components, equipment and machinery and we'll be ready."

In a recent survey, 66 maquiladora operations were contacted to determine what specific supplies were needed, which previously had been imported from Asia and other non-NAFTA countries. Through the combined efforts of the County office of Trade & Business Development and the San Diego world Trade Center and utilizing the Connectory - a computer program developed by East County Economic Development Council - a list of potential suppliers have been invited to participate in Trade Visions 2000, a conference scheduled for May 17 focusing on trade opportunities in Mexico.

For additional information about trade opportunities in Mexico, NAFTA regulations or Trade Visions 2000, contact: County of San Diego Office of Trade & Business Development, (858) 495-5494; San Diego World Trade Center, (619) 615-0868; or the East County Economic Development Council, (619) 462-3312.

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