Dignitaries from Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico Visit Utah to Build Trade Relationships

News Release
For Immediate Release
March 3, 2016

Jessica Nield
Marketing & Communications Director
World Trade Center Utah
(801) 814-3491

Dignitaries from Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico Visit Utah to Build Trade Relationships
Utah hosts annual meeting for Pacific Alliance dignitaries

Salt Lake City – Utah is kicking off the month of March with the arrival of ambassadors and dignitaries from the Pacific Alliance, which includes the countries of Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. Because of its commitment over the last 20 years to growing trade with these countries, Utah is the first state in the Western U.S. to be selected as the location for the Pacific Alliance annual meeting. Last year’s meeting was in Dallas and the year before that was in New York.

Established in 2011, the Pacific Alliance is a Latin America trade bloc comprised of nations that border the Pacific Ocean. The ambassador of Chile, ambassador of Colombia, ambassador of Peru and consul general of Mexico will be in Utah March 3 – 4 to meet with government and business officials, build upon existing trade relationships and conduct their annual meeting.

“In 2015, Utah companies exported more than $972 million worth of goods to Pacific Alliance countries, which represents 7 percent of total Utah exports,” said Derek B. Miller, World Trade Center Utah president and CEO. “The Pacific Alliance constitutes a growing export opportunity with a key trading group of Latin American countries, and having dignitaries from these countries visit our state illustrates to what extent Utah has become a global business destination.”

Utah Valley University (UVU) is hosting the dignitaries in partnership with World Trade Center Utah and the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The Pacific Alliance will hold their annual meeting at UVU and will also participate in an economic summit at the university on March 3.

“This is the first year the Pacific Alliance ambassadors have hosted the annual meeting at an academic institution,” said Baldomero Lago, senior director of UVU’s Office of International and Multicultural Studies. “We are thrilled and honored to welcome the Pacific Alliance ambassadors and dignitaries to Utah Valley University.”

While in Utah, the Pacific Alliance will meet with Gov. Gary R. Herbert to discuss best practices and how to further enhance our strong trade relationships. A luncheon on March 4 at 12:30 p.m. in Salt Lake City will also provide an opportunity for Utah business leaders to interact with the ambassadors and receive an update on the economic and political climates in these countries.

Pacific Alliance dignitaries participating in the luncheon on March 4:

  • His Excellency Juan Gabriel Valdés, Ambassador of Chile to the U.S.
  • His Excellency Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the U.S.
  • His Excellency Luis Miguel Castilla, Ambassador of Peru to the U.S.
  • The Honorable Eduardo Arnal Palomera, Consul General of Mexico

In addition to the Pacific Alliance dignitaries, the month of March will bring an influx of other diplomats. Utah will host ambassadors from the nations of India, Cambodia, Germany and Belgium.

“The number of diplomatic visitors Utah receives is well above the national average,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “After spending just a few hours in the state, these men and women are amazed by the language capabilities and international focus in a small, landlocked state. They quickly find that Utah is a true competitor in the global economy and a viable partner moving forward.”


About World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah)

The mission of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is to help Utah companies think, act and succeed globally. WTC Utah accomplishes this mission through three key objectives. First is to motivate and educate Utah businesses to expand their global presence through training seminars, regional forums and newsletters focused on international business development, trade issues and export opportunities. Second is to build capacity of Utah businesses for international trade through B2B consultations to identify expansion goals, assess current capabilities, determine overseas opportunities and connect companies with market experts and potential partners. Third is to expand global network of Utah businesses through trade missions and networking with foreign trade officials.

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
Web: business.utah.gov

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business environment and tourist destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information please contact: Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or mgsullivan@utah.gov