On June 16, 2011, the 2011 NAFTA Institute Supplier Meet the Buyer Trade Conference took place in Sunland Park, New Mexico. Amid the many sponsors who supported the event, the UNM Anderson School of Management (ASM) and the LAII came together to collaboratively offer their support as well. Each year the conference brings together experts and representatives of the business community to learn how to facilitate cross-border business and trade initiatives.
This year the NAFTA Institute Supplier Meet the Buyer Trade Conference represented the "largest trade conference on the entire U.S.-Mexico border" (International Business Accelerator ), and drew over 700 individuals and 300 companies. Business-to-business sessions took place concurrently alongside topical sessions which ranged from discussing the expansion of the Santa Teresa port of entry to an economic forecast for Mexico's maquila industry. Notable speakers included Jon Barela, New Mexico Secretary of Economic Development, Alberto Chretin, Secretary of the Economy for the State of Chihuahua, and Soledad Maynez, Director of Economic Development and Finance for the City of Juarez. Incidentally, individuals who missed the conference can still access the topical presentations by visiting the conference website.
In addition, the ASM and the LAII sponsored the attendance of a limited number of UNM students. Alexandra Blodget (MALAS, '12), one of those who attended, returned with the observation that the "focus of the conference was on providing information on facilitating cross-border trade, opportunities for business connections, and the promotion of commercial development in Northern Mexico and New Mexico." In effect, the conference's topical presentations dovetailed well with the students' programs of study.
Sponsors for the 2011 NAFTA Institute Supplier Meet the Buyer Trade Conference included the International Business Accelerator, the New Mexico Economic Development, the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, the New Mexico Small Business Development Network, Western New Mexico University, New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico (ASM, LAII), Union Pacific, Mexico Now and the Juarez Economic Development Association.
--Posted Friday, August 19, 2011.