BROWNSVILLE, Texas – More than 30 foreign companies and investors from all over the world will visit Brownsville later this month as guests of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation.
The visit is a spin-off event from a Select USA investment summit taking place near Washington, D.C. Those coming to Brownsville will be focused on the aerospace, defense and energy sectors.
According to its website, SelectUSA is a “U.S. government program led by the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raising awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy.”
Since its inception, the website states, SelectUSA has “facilitated more than $105 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 138,000 U.S. jobs.”
Ramiro Aleman, director of business recruitment, retention and expansion at CBIC, gave the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service a sneak preview into what the potential investors will be doing in Brownsville.
In the original interview, Aleman said 30 foreign companies/investors had signed up to visit Brownsville as part of the Select USA spin-off event. However, once this story was posted on social media, Aleman commented on LinkedIn that he had now secured commitments from 45 companies.
“Usually, when recruiting companies, Economic development professionals have to go to their location. We decided to bring those companies to Brownsville. By the way, we are at about 45 now. Be Bold. Be Brownsville,” Aleman said.
In his original interview, Aleman explained the work of Select USA.
“Select USA is the marketing arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Select USA is charged with promoting the United States as a destination for investment by foreign companies from all over the world. Everywhere there is a United States embassy there is a presence of Select USA,” said Aleman (pictured above).
“Select USA holds an investment summit every year (in the Washington, D.C., area) , where they invite potential foreign investors to the come to the United States and take a look at the opportunities that are available. While those potential foreign investors are here they are given an opportunity to go to a select few communities to learn more about a particular industry or sector.”
Aleman said it not just any community. It is only a community that has been chosen by Select USA.
“You have to apply, you have to submit an application and they have a group that selects, that chooses which communities can host these spin off events. We were invited to apply and luckily we were chosen as one of 13 communities and the only one in Texas,” said Aleman, proudly.
Aleman said the two industries GBIC has selected to focus on are aerospace and energy. He explained why.
“With aerospace it is obviously because of SpaceX. But also Paragon, 9.8 Capital, Space Ventures. With energy, we have the LNGs potentially coming online at the Port of Brownsville pretty soon, and all the wind turbines coming into the port, and the manufacturing of the turbines in Matamoros.”
Aleman said the level of interest in companies wanting to visit Brownsville is high.
“As of right now we have over 30 foreign investors signed up to attend. We have companies from Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and Mexico that have signed up to come to the event on June 22. We expect more folks to sign up in the next few weeks,” Aleman said.
“Thirty companies from outside the United States coming to Brownsville, when did that last happen? They will learn a little bit about what we have to offer and which industries are here.”
Aleman said GBIC is honored to have been selected for the spin-off event.
“Obviously is an honor to be selected by Select USA. They must be taking note of the great things we are doing down here with both the aerospace and energy industries. So, it is great to partner with them. We look forward to continued partnerships and showing these investors that there are great opportunities here in Brownsville.”
Aleman said the foreign visitors will have one full day in Brownsville. He said the morning will be spent at the Brownsville Events Center with a series of presentations lined up.
“Mayor Trey Mendez will will do the welcome. We will then hear about the aerospace campus at the Brownsville-SPI International Airport. We will then hold a local industry panel, with the panelists discussing what their experience in selecting Brownsville has been like; what it is like to build a company here.”
Next up will be a discussion about the Port of Brownsville, Aleman explained.
“We are going to talk about the port because it is a huge asset, for not only for Brownsville but the whole region and South Texas and northern Mexico. Eddie Campirano, the port director, will talk about the port and its foreign trade zone.”
After this the potential foreign investors and companies will listen to a panel focused on international trade.
“As I mentioned at the recent South Texas Manufacturers Association meeting, we just signed an MOU with our colleagues in Matamoros, with their economic development corporation, which is called CODEM,” Aleman said.
“We have got some folks that know cross border trade such as businessman Frank Parker, Eduardo Garza who is a board member of CODEM and a business owner in Mexico, and Jaime Diaz, and immigration attorney. The panel will be moderated by Arturo Gomez, the deputy port director, he has a lot of experience in Matamoros. He knows cross border trade.”
After this, Aleman said, GBIC Executive Director Helen Ramirez will speak about why SpaceX chose to locate in South Texas. And, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., will talk about working with SpaceX at Boca Chica and the development of the East Loop project.
These presentations will likely run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. After this, Aleman said, the representatives from the foreign companies and investors will have the opportunity to go on a bus tour, Aleman explained.
The bus tour will include visits to the planned I-169 Industrial Park, the North Brownsville Industrial Park, the Port of Brownsville, the non-restricted part of SpaceX, and the aerospace park at Brownsville-SPI International Airport. The day will conclude with an after hours mixer in downtown Brownsville.
Editor’s Note: Click here to learn more about the Select USA Investment Summit taking place later this month near Washington, D.C.
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