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Governor Bill Richardson Forms Task Force on International Trade

Press Release

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Governor Bill Richardson today issued an Executive Order creating a Task Force on International Trade. The group, comprised of representatives from both state agencies and the private sector, will evaluate New Mexico's current levels of exports and foreign investment and make recommendations for increasing export and boosting investment to bolster economic development.

"New Mexico's businesses have unique goods and services to offer to a global marketplace," said Governor Richardson. "Under my administration, we've seen tremendous trade growth in New Mexico and I want to make sure we continue to maximize on this success. This task force will make recommendations to reduce barriers to trade, provide assistance for companies looking to export goods and services, and help create better paying jobs."

One of the biggest areas of growth has been through the Santa Teresa port of entry in southern New Mexico. In 2008, the total value of imports and exports processed through Santa Teresa totaled $1.4 billion. This value increased in 2009 to $4.7 billion, and is expected to total $10 billion dollars in 2010.

Recent studies demonstrated New Mexico is well-positioned to expand exports and increase foreign investment. According to a July Brookings Institute study, Albuquerque ranks 20th nationwide in export intensity and 4th in service export intensity. Service export jobs, like finance, tourism, professional, and technical services, employ 26,498 people in Albuquerque
alone. The study also found that workers in export-related businesses earn 1.5 times the average worker.

"With three-quarters of the international marketplace outside of the United States, this initiative can help grow New Mexico's economic sectors, from green energy development to food production, and electronics manufacturing," stated Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Fred Mondragón.

The wide scope of directives to be reviewed by the Task Force includes:

* Increasing the export of New Mexican goods and services
* Elimination or reduction of trade barriers
* Education and workforce development pertaining to international markets
* Growing foreign investment in New Mexico
* The potential of creating a trade organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging international trade

The task force will issue its recommendations to the Governor in a report due in November 2010.

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