April 19, 2024

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California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) Concludes Successful Water Technologies Trade Mission to Baja California

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GO-Biz International Affairs and Trade News and Update

SACRAMENTO – The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) concluded a successful trade mission in Baja California focused on water technologies and infrastructure. In collaboration with the State of Baja California, the trade mission aimed to explore best practices and foster partnerships in water reuse and infrastructure in Mexico.

The GO-Biz International Affairs and Trade team, in partnership with the Office of Economy and Innovation in Baja California, led the two-day mission, which included six California small businesses. The mission allowed the small businesses to explore commercial opportunities in the Baja region, meet with procurement officials and potential partners, engage in productive discussions, and conduct site visits to several wastewater treatment plants and other facilities. The mission served as a platform for knowledge exchange, technology showcasing, and investment exploration in the region.

“The International Affairs and Trade team at GO-Biz is committed to helping our small businesses access new market opportunities overseas,” said Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade at GO-Biz. “Exporting can be a powerful tool to support economic growth and resiliency and it can also bring important new technologies and services that address entrenched challenges. Trade missions like this underscore the importance of public-private sector collaboration as we seek innovative solutions that curb transborder pollution in our waterways and ensure more reliable access to safe, potable drinking water for citizens on both sides of the border – a fundamental issue of equity.”

Tijuana briefing image

Photo 1: Officials from the State of California, State of Baja California Sur, and businesses from California traveled to Tijuana for briefing sessions and site visits focused on water technologies and infrastructure.

Delegates had the unique opportunity to hear from Kurt Honold, Secretary of Economy and Innovation of Baja California, and José Armando Fernández Samaniego, Secretary for Water Management, Sanitation and Protection. The businesses were welcomed by the Consul General of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego and the U.S. Consul General in Tijuana. The mission also featured panel discussions with experts in water technology and included sessions on financing tools and resources from the North American Development Bank (NADBANK).

Secretary Honold noted, “Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila has said on many occasions that her six-year term will be the six-year term of water, and this type of exchange with our neighbors is a sign of the importance that is being placed on the water management so that our communities and our companies have access to this vital liquid.”

Tijuana briefing image

PHOTO 2: (Left to right) Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; Consul General of Mexico to San Diego, Carlos González Gutiérrez; Baja California Secretary of the Economy and Innovation, Kurt Honold; U.S. Consul General to Tijuana, Thomas Reott; and Evan Reade, International Advisor for California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis.

“Our partnership under COMCAL creates a forum to share information around common issues and discuss the development of common solutions,” said Gustavo de la Fuente, Director of Pro Baja’s Office of International Projects. “After all, our border communities share one watershed – and a cross-border approach to protect that watershed is key. Bringing California businesses who have an interest in deploying their innovative technology solutions in Mexico to meet policymakers and Mexican private sector to learn about what the Baja California government is doing to address our water infrastructure challenges really deepens our COMCAL partnership. It is no secret that water management has been and will continue to be a key topic in Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila’s term in office. Our meetings and site visits in Tijuana have created significant momentum for further and deeper conversations and action plans with our GO-Biz colleagues and California companies.”

José Armando Fernández Samaniego

Photo 3: José Armando Fernández Samaniego, Secretary for the Management, Sanitation, and Protection of Water of Baja California, discusses strategic water infrastructure projects in the state of Baja California.

The second day featured site visits to two wastewater treatment plants and a pumping station. These visits provided the delegation with a first-hand understanding of the region’s water infrastructure and demonstrated the importance of cross-border collaboration in addressing water management challenges.

The trade mission was a testament to the deep collaboration between California and Baja California as agreed upon under the Commission of the Californias (COMCAL) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed in 2019 by the Governors of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur.

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