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BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and three governors from Mexico attended a luncheon Sunday hosted by Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas.

The three Mexican governors were Eruviel Ávila, governor of the State of Mexico, Rubén Moreira, governor of Coahuila, and Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, governor of Puebla. Ávila is also president of the National Conference of Governors.

Abbott’s office said the dignitaries discussed trade, economic development and ways in which Texas and Mexico can strengthen their relationship.

“Today’s meeting was an important first step on the trip by providing a platform to share ideas and ways in which Texas and Mexico can continue to build upon our relationship,” Abbott said in a news release. “Trade, energy and expanding economic opportunity were just a few of the areas in which both sides had productive discussions. I extend my gratitude to Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas for hosting today’s luncheon, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue and finding ways Texas and Mexico can further strengthen our bond.”

In addition to Abbott, Massieu, Ávila, Moreira, and Valle, the luncheon was attended by Manuel Russek, secretary of economy for the state of Chihuahua, Carlos Pérez Verdía, undersecretary for North America, Mauricio Ibarra, director general of special affairs, Miguel Basañez, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, and Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in Austin.

This evening, Abbott is slated to attend a reception with CEOs and business leaders across Mexico to “discuss ways to promote and expand economic opportunity on both sides of the border.” The reception will be hosted by hosted by Massieu.

On Monday, Abbott will deliver remarks on “enhancing economic ties between Texas and Mexico” to an audience of more than 150 business executives and government officials at a luncheon in Mexico City. The program is Abbott’s first international trade mission as governor. It is being paid and sponsored by TexasOne. The goal is to promote trade and investment opportunities between Texas and Mexico. TexasOne is a program of Texas Economic Development Corporation. It was created to market Texas as a premier business location.

Before making the trip Abbott pointed out that Mexico is the Lone Star State’s biggest trading partner and that Texas exports more goods to Mexico than any other state. In 2014, Texas exported more than $100 billion in machinery, technology and other commodities to Mexico, about 35 percent of the state’s total exports. These exports sustain tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses in Texas and more than 1.1 million jobs, the most in the nation. Texas also imported more than $90 billion of goods from Mexico last year.

The Texas delegation in Mexico City includes Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos and Tracye McDaniel, CEO of TexasOne. Other leading members of Abbott’s staff will be on the trip, along with and various Texas business and economic leaders.

“Ties between Texas and Mexico began before we became a state. Today, about one-third of Texans trace their roots to Mexico, including my wife whose maternal grandparents immigrated to Texas from Monterrey. And the shared values of our families transcend geographic borders,” Abbott wrote, in an op-ed penned to coincide with the trip to Mexico City. “I now look forward to continuing our dialogue, to cultivate an even stronger bond and create more opportunities to expand trade.”

Editor’s Note: The images accompanying this story were provided by the Governor’s Office.