South Texas offers a vibrant regional economy with entry points to the United States, a gateway to Latin America, world-class logistics, excellent tourism, and historic cities leading the way in energy, biomedicine, and healthcare.
That's one of the messages Texas South - International Alliance (TS-IA) will share with potential foreign investors through a strategic collaboration among the cities of Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Edinburg, Laredo, San Marcos and San Antonio.
"San Antonio is part of a region that provides diverse industries and opportunities for international business," said San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan. "Collaboration and alignment among South Texas cities can not only promote the attributes of our region but also leverage our resources."
After the City of San Antonio participated in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Councilwoman Chan started a regional international economic development initiative by engaging South Texas mayors in a dialogue about increasing foreign investment in the region. The initiative received support from Mayor Julián Castro and San Antonio City Council.
The dialogue led to TS-IA meetings hosted by Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame on October 31, 2011, and Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez on March 3, 2012. San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero hosted the third meeting on June 11, 2012, at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center.
"The TS-IA is very important to the economic development of South Texas," remarked Mayor Guerrero. "The City of San Marcos is highly excited to play a significant role in the continued development of the shared resources and relationships of the alliance and in the marketing and recruitment of foreign firms to the area."
TS-IA was designed to focus on international investment to generate a net gain of jobs without taking domestic investment from one part of Texas or the U.S. and moving it to another, Councilwoman Chan added.
This strategic approach has received recognition from Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, who said of TS-IA's participating cities: "They make themselves and Texas even stronger and more competitive in the global economy by combining the exceptional workforce of the respective cities and the infrastructure assets sought after by business and industry leaders across the country and around the world."
TS-IA is working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a marketing focus on energy, bioscience and healthcare, logistics, advanced manufacturing and tourism, among other areas. The alliance is also planning a delegation to China in early 2013 and marketing the region while it receives international attention during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix event in November 2012.
TS-IA consists of elected officials and the leaders of economic development councils. The Greater San Marcos Partnership has played a pivotal role in supporting and promoting TS-IA and organizing the most recent meeting.
"San Marcos has many assets that are attractive to international companies, but to have the fortitude of the other cities and their collective international experience provides the greatest impact to market South Texas in a global arena and recruit foreign businesses and their interests to our region. It just makes sense," stated Amy Madison, President/CEO of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.