Governor LePage to Lead Maine Trade Delegation to Mexico and Colombia

October 25, 2013

For Immediate Release: Friday, Oct. 25 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage and a contingent of Maine business leaders will depart on Sunday for a five-day trade mission to Mexico and Colombia. The mission, the third during the Governor’s administration, will take Maine’s delegation to the cities of Mexico City, Queretaro and Bogota.

Nine Maine businesses and educational institutions will be featured during the mission, which seeks to create linkages between Maine and two of Latin America’s most successful economies.

“Maine needs to be more competitive across the globe,” said Governor LePage. “Our goal in Mexico and Colombia will be to develop additional contacts for private investment and promote Maine as a great place to study and invest.”

Governor LePage will make several presentations about investment opportunities in Maine during the trip. He will speak at a meeting of the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs, an organization of Mexican investors in the United States, and the State of Maine Receptions in Mexico City and Bogota.

He will also meet with a group of key business leaders from the rapidly expanding state of Queretaro, a major center of the automotive and aerospace industries.

Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been a bright spot in the global economy over the past several years and is the United States’ second-largest export market and third-largest trading partner. In addition, Mexico has been a growing source of foreign investment in the United States and most recently Maine, where Dalegip America Inc. is located announced a joint venture partnership with Searsport-based GAC Chemical this past April.

Major Mexican investments in the U.S. have been in the construction industry, industrial products, real estate and food processing sectors.

“The U.S. Embassy’s Commercial Service, Dalegip, and our in-country representatives have helped us connect with new trade and investment contacts in both Mexico and Colombia,” said Janine Bisaillon-Cary, president of Maine International Trade Center. “We are excited to highlight the many assets Maine has, especially when it comes to manufacturing and distribution.”

Shively Labs, based in Bridgton, is one of the companies participating on the trade mission to seek new international sales. A manufacturer of broadcast equipment, Shively hopes to access the Mexican market for a very specific opportunity: in 2009, the country began transitioning all AM radio stations to FM.

“This is a very complicated, ongoing process,” said Angela Gillespie, who will represent Shively in Mexico. “It’s clear there is a definite need for the types of products we can provide. We’ve received great feedback ahead of the trip, and we’re looking forward to making connections while we’re there.”

The Maine delegation will move to Bogota, Colombia on Wednesday, October 30, where similar events are planned including a roundtable to promote Maine’s educational institutions to Colombian students and parents.

The mission is organized in a coordinated effort by the Maine International Trade Center, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration.