|McALLEN, September 17 - Underlining the importance of building strong relationships in Mexico, the Border Trade Alliance has appointed a full-time liaison in that country.
Angie Plascencia has been named director of BTA Alianza de Comercio Fronterizo. She will be based in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, but will attend key trade events throughout Mexico for the BTA. In the past, Plascencia worked for the Rio Grande Valley Partnership in a similar capacity.
“Angie is an extremely qualified individual who has a track record of successfully navigating organizations in Mexico,” said BTA Chairman Jesse Hereford. “Her relationships combined with her understanding of Mexican political systems made it a no-brainer decision for the BTA to select Angie.”
Plascencia said she was honored to have joined the BTA. She said she “wants the BTA to be recognized as the leading facilitator of international trade and commerce between the U.S. and Mexico.” In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Plascencia listed these goals:
• To promote the organization throughout the Mexico border area to Include companies, cities, state and any other entity involved with cross-border trade and commerce.
• To promote pilot programs that expedite trade and travel at international ports of entry that address multimodal services, staffing and infrastructure issues.
• To involve the authorities of the three levels of government in the development of border infrastructure plans.
• To develop infrastructure with planning and vision for regional and global multi-modal transportation systems.
• To support proposals to increase the effectiveness of bi-national programs/mechanisms.
• To establish, strengthen, involve and increase communication with federal, state, municipal entities to increase the awareness of how dynamic the border is and support bi-national projects.
Founded in 1986, the Border Trade Alliance is a grassroots, non-profit organization that serves as a forum for participants to address key issues affecting trade, travel and security in North America. Working with entities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, the BTA advocates on behalf of policies and initiatives designed to improve border affairs and trade relations among the three nations.
Hereford said that as director of Director of BTA Alianza de Comercio Fronterizo, Plascencia will be responsible for managing the advocacy efforts, relationship-building and day-to-day operations of the organization.
“Angie will be given the discretion to decide which events will require her attendance. However, Border Governors conferences and other key border state events will be important for BTA Mexico to have a presence,” Hereford said.
Asked why having a point person in Mexico is important, Hereford told the Guardian: “Working with entities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, the BTA advocates in favor of policies and initiatives designed to improve border affairs and trade relations among the three nations. In focusing on expediting trade, for example at the U.S.-Mexico border, it does us no good to focus only on the U.S. side of the ports of entry. There are issues that need to be addressed on both sides of the port of entry to expedite the facilitation of trade and travel. In order to focus on addressing these issues, it became very clear that we needed a representation in Mexico to help our advocacy efforts, which is why we re-activated BTA Mexico and hired Angie as our director.”
Plascencia worked for the RGV Partnership in Mexico during Bill Summers’ time as president and CEO of the Valley’s regional chamber of commerce. Hereford said her experience in this capacity was obviously a consideration in the appointment.
“The fact that Angie worked for Bill Summers, who was a close friend of mine, helped us in the selection process. Thanks to her hard work over the years with the Valley Partnership, Angie was a known and trusted person for several members of the Board. We felt at ease hiring Angie especially after her hard work greatly contributed to our recent successful Mexico City conference. After the conference, we decided that we had too much momentum in Mexico and that it was time to re-launch our Mexican entity, BTA México.”
The BTA conference was held on Aug. 7 in conjunction with MexicoNow. Over 500 professionals and government officials involved in cross-border trade attended the event. On the evening of Aug. 6, conference attendees were invited to join U.S. Ambassador Tony Wayne for a special reception at the ambassador’s home. Many members of Mexico’s Congress attended.