4Fronted Arizona-Mexico Border Business Case

Sharing a 300-mile border with Mexico, Arizona’s economy is closely linked to and benefits from a strong relationship with Mexico. As gateways, Arizona border communities enable the flow of billions of dollars of trade and millions of cross-border traffic each year.

In 2013, the Border Communities Roadmap was the result of a collaborative effort of four state agencies (Arizona Department of Transportation, AZ Commerce Authority, Office of Tourism, and AZ-Mexico Commission) in partnership with border communities. The Roadmap examined best practices along the U.S./Mexico border and presented a strategic action plan with economic development priorities/policy direction.

The Roadmap identified 5 Game Changers and 5-Pronged Response; one was to “Build a Border Business Case” focused on an economically strong binational region. Four state agencies provided funding augmented with public and private funding from border entities, and Partners for Strategic Action, Inc. (PSA) was hired (firm completed the Border Communities Roadmap) to implement the process and develop the Business Case.

Ink wasn’t dry on the Roadmap when the cities within Yuma County and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, moved forward to develop the binational Border Business Case. The 4FRONTED initiative was a binational effort focused on consensus-building resulting in the Border Business Case and the creation of a regionally-funded binational organization that is successfully working on implementation.

The region’s recruitment success has increased. Flextronics purchased a San Luis Rio Colorado building that provided opportunity to develop new product lines. City of San Luis, Arizona, and Secretariat of Economic Development, Baja California, signed an agreement to collaboratively strengthen business development/entrepreneurism. A comprehensive supplier business recruitment strategy was developed. Another manufacturing company located in San Luis Rio Colorado (medical equipment) creating 150 jobs and another 300 projected jobs. Though new companies have expanded in Mexico, the binational economy impact is great in terms of new jobs, financial investment, and new U.S. supplier growth.

The main contact for 4Fronted is Peggy Fiandaca, AICP, president of Partners for Strategic Action (PSA).  She may be reached at 480-816-1811 or via email at peggy@psaplanning.com.