It is a privilege to be here in Mexico with Governor Eruviel Ávila. We believe the future is bright in Mexico and Utah.
Utah was once part of Mexico. Today, the relationship between Utah and Mexico has come full circle as we forge stronger economic and government ties that will benefit us both. In 2012 alone, Utah imported $4.4 billion worth of goods from Mexico. During the past 20 years, Utah exports to Mexico have increased 851 percent. Over the past 10 years, our exports to Mexico have quadrupled, with imports from Mexico reaching $4.4 billion in 2012, an increase of over 500 percent in the past five years alone.
The business relationships and friendship between Mexico and Utah are only natural when you consider the growth of our Latino community in Utah. Sixteen percent of Utah's population is Hispanic and three of every four Hispanics are of Mexican descent -- meaning we have roughly 300,000 Utahns of Mexican descent. One such individual is Luz Robles, who immigrated to Utah and is now a member of the Utah Senate. A few years ago, she was hailed by The Deseret News as the "5th most influential person in Utah."
From 2000 to 2010, Utah's Mexican population grew by nearly 90 percent. More than 5,000 Utah companies are owned by natives of Mexico or descendants of Mexican immigrants. Revenues from Latino-owned businesses in Utah have grown 136 percent -- three times the national average. Utah's Latino population has a purchasing power of $7 billion -- an 846 percent increase since 1990. Mexican immigrants are important contributors to both Utah's and Mexico's economies.
I am pleased to report that Governor Eruviel Ávila and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stating Utah's intent to work together with Mexico now and in the future.