BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The city manager of Brownsville has praised Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza and the Rio Grande Valley Partnership CEO Daniel Silva for proposing a regional economic development summit. 

Helen Ramirez was one of over 40 Valley leaders who met this week to strategize for an upcoming RGV Economic Summit, to be held in Edinburg in June and hosted by the RGVP. 

“Most importantly, this is a regional initiative,” Ramirez said. “I think bringing all the mayors and economic development directors together is important. It demonstrates how strong we are as an economy, as a regional economy.”

Ramirez was interviewed by the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service at the Brownsville State of the City Address. 

“I often talk about the new border economy. We have companies that are opening up in McAllen in the technology sector. We have SpaceX and New Space, other aerospace and new airlines opening up in Brownsville. We want to meet to discuss all the assets that we have, but also, where we’re going as we work to bring in technology, advanced manufacturing, and other sectors that people don’t typically associate with South Texas.”

Asked where the idea came from, Ramirez said: “I would say the RGV Partnership was instrumental in bringing everybody in. Also, the mayor of of Edinburg, Ramiro. They deserve credit.”

Ramirez added: “What’s wonderful is that we had a full house for the meeting this week. Everyone is committed to the summit. We are all going to bring our ideas together to make it the best strategic thinking event. We plan to have an important keynote speaker just to show that the RGV is open for business.”

Asked about the upcoming summit, Silva, CEO of the RGV Partnership, said: “The Partnership’s role since 1944 has been to advocate for the entire region, all four counties. We work on the most important and pressing issues for all our communities and try to advocate for improvement, to bring everybody together, bring everybody to the table.”

Silva said there is unity among Valley mayors, city managers and economic development CEOs on the need to work together. 

“We understand that we all need to be on the same page. We all need to be promoting the region with one message. It’s great that we have our success stories in different parts of the region. We need those, but we all also need to be talking about the needs of the region as a whole. We feel that if we get behind a marketing effort, and we’ve all started talking about the successes of our entire region, we’re going to have a better voice for the state.”

Asked where the idea for the summit came from, Silva said: “(Hidalgo County) Judge (Richard) Cortez, and a couple of the mayors, Mayor Garza of Edinburg and Mayor Villalobos of McAllen, had a vision. They wanted for there to be an entity that was the economic development go-to entity for the region. They started talking to other mayors across the region, and people suggested the Partnership. A lot of people across the state already understand who we are. There is a lot of respect there. So we want to continue with that. But we’re not replacing anybody else’s efforts. We’re marketing, we’re promoting. We’re trying to get everybody on message. I think it’s going to be good for the region. And that is the goal of that next meeting in June. We’ll be doing a ceremonial signing of this effort.”

Garza, the Edinburg mayor, said the idea is to unite as a region and amplify the region’s voice.

“I had the honor of attending a luncheon today with esteemed leaders in economic development from the Rio Grande Valley. This distinguished group included mayors, city managers, and economic development professionals from various cities in the region. The purpose of the gathering was to strategize for the upcoming RGV Economic Summit, which is being hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership,” Garza said. 

“As we work towards a common goal of attracting new businesses and creating economic growth in the region, I am confident that our collaborative efforts will yield positive results. By building strong partnerships, we can leverage the unique strengths of each city in the Rio Grande Valley and present a unified voice in our efforts to promote the region.”

Garza added: “Our shared commitment to fostering economic prosperity for everyone in the Rio Grande Valley is a testament to the strength and resilience of our community. I look forward to continuing this important work with like-minded professionals and promoting our region as a desirable destination for business investment.”

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