LC Bulletin: Bi-national economic initiative

December 28, 2012. Retrieved online January 14, 2013 from Bulletin Staff Report, Las Cruces Bulletin

Carruthers, Hutchinson among group leaders

Business leaders from Las Cruces, El Paso and Cuidad Juárez met last week in El Paso to hear plans for the Borderplex Bi-National Economic Alliance, a new regionwide economic development organization.

The alliance will include two groups that are merging, El Paso’s Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCo) and Paso del Norte Group (PdN Group).

Borderplex Bi-National Economic Alliance will play a role throughout the entire region.

Garrey Carruthers, dean of the New Mexico University College of Business and a member of the alliance steering committee, said after the meeting that the group is composed of private sector participants.

“For development to be successful it must in large part, in nmy mind, be driven by the private sector,” said Carruthers, who is a former governor of New Mexico. “We are no longer turning to the public sector and saying, ‘Save us.’ The private sector is taking the leadership to drive the agenda for attracting growth in our region.”

The job of the alliance will be to develop programs and influence government, he said.

He said a small group of business leaders from the three communities in the alliance has been meeting for about a year in preparation for launching the initiative.

“It is time for our entire region to thrive economically, to leverage our strategic location on the U.S. – Mexico border, develop competitively to become economically prosperous, and to convert our combined communities into a 21st-century skills-based economy,” said Rick Francis, chairman of Paso del Norte Group, during the presentation.

“As individual communities, we each have our unique strengths and potential, but presenting ourselves individually is less efficient and makes it more difficult to compete. As a combined entity, our opportunity for economic growth is unmatched, and poised strategically for significant development.”

The new regional alliance is made up of Las Cruces, El Paso and Ciudad Juárez as a single region, offering a population of 2.6 million people. The combined economic assets include billions of dollars in cross-border trade, major manufacturing and distribution centers with a significant number of logistics and applied technology companies, regional higher education research institutions and the medical school, as well as critical regional military installations and national research laboratories.

Read the Las Cruces Bulletin article

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