PHARR, Texas – A one-hour “Trade Trends” webinar on Thursday, Feb. 25, will take a deep-dive look at the economic impact of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

The webinar will feature two guest speakers: Ken Roberts of WorldCity and Guillermo Malpica Soto, undersecretary of industry and trade for the State of Puebla.

The webinar takes place between 10 and 11 a.m. and is free to the public, although registration is required. Click here to register.

“We want to take a look back at the 2020 trade numbers and look ahead into 2021,” said Luis Bazan, director of the Pharr International Bridge. “We want to take a first look at the stories behind the annual trade statistics for 2020.”

Bazan said he is excited to have secured Roberts and Malpica for the event.

“Guillermo was one of Mexico’s lead negotiators during the USMCA negotiations. He will take questions from those tuning in on the impact USMCA has had on Pharr’s trade,” Bazan said.

“As for Ken, we have been working with he and his World City team for several years now. He publishes an annual book, Trade Numbers, which give an overview of our trade with Mexico and the rest of the world and what it means for our regional trade community, importers/exporters, stakeholders, etc.”

Bazan said the agenda for the webinar will feature:

  • Pharr’s total trade figures for 2020
  • Pharr’s top imports and exports
  • USMCA impact to Pharr’s trade

In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian, Bazan discussed the importance of providing the trade community with the latest trends.

“Ironically, the coronavirus pandemic presented us with an opportunity to work even closer with Ken. We decided to set up a quarterly schedule to present the latest trade trends four times a year instead of just one,” Bazan said.

“At first, we talked about doing these four trade sessions under our BridgeConnect umbrella. But then decided to give it its own identity to distinguish it by offering a bigger value with guest speakers we wouldn’t normally have access to.”

Bazan said he and his team have been pleasantly surprised how truck traffic at the Pharr Bridge has continued to grow, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our trade numbers are a barometer of the global economy and the part that Pharr plays in it, keeping the economic pulse alive and healthy,” Bazan said.

“Although the pandemic did affect the nation’s trade, which caused the value of trade nationwide to decrease by about 12 percent, crossings and revenues in Pharr were up for 2020. It is so important we tell that story.”

Bazan added: “As we continue to develop the infrastructure projects that Mayor Hernandez and the City Commission set out to accomplish, we must ensure the trade community understands the importance of their vision for the Pharr International Bridge and how these projects will position Pharr strategically for future trade, by improving efficiencies and reducing wait times to ultimately service a larger market.”

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