During his visit to Mexico City, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke at the “LA and DF, developing binational leaders” conference at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico in which he talked about his perspectives regarding the relationship between both mega-cities (both have a population of more than 8 million each). A Portada reporter asked the mayor about investment of Los Angeles companies’ in Mexico and of Mexican companies in Los Angeles.
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Questioned by Portada’s Editor at Large Raul Ramirez about the investment of U.S companies in Mexico and viceversa, the Los Angeles mayor answered: “There are many companies on both sides. The reason for this trip was partly because the company Panda Express has closed a deal two days ago to open 226 restaurants in Mexico in conjunction with Grupo Gigante.”
“This is a great opportunity for both countries, because the food we make in Los Angeles will be sent here to Mexico, creating more job positions in Mexico and in the United States. And I also think that companies are breaking stereotypes here. On our return, we will let you know how safe Mexico is. We will tell you the story of the aerospace industry and media companies which are in action. We will also discuss how manufacturing can return to the United States through a partnership with Mexico […] there are many examples on this trip about how Mexico and Los Angeles can work together. ”
On the difficulties for U.S. companies to invest in Mexico and vice versa, the mayor said:
“I hope to help break the regulations that separate investments on both sides of the border, but this is increasingly disappearing and it’s getting easier for a company to come to Mexico to invest. Deregulation has been a major topic discussed with President Peña Nieto on this visit. ”
“It goes both ways, as both countries have to confront climate change. Also the deregulation of telecommunications companies, I’m sure you all want to pay less on your phone bill. We have opportunities to move forward in both directions, so that companies take advantage on both sides, “said the mayor.
Two sisters mega-cities
Garcetti spoke both about the bonds between the two cities and also the bonds that connect him to Mexico. Being the grandson of Mexicans, the mayor said “coming to Mexico as the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles makes me feel quite proud.”
Garcetti made an emphasis on the importance of both cities for the global economy in numbers: “We are key to the growth of the global economy. […] There are over 400 cities in the world with a million people or more, but only 28 of these can be classified as mega-cities. Our cities (Los Angeles and Mexico City) are two out of the three that exist in North America and LA is closer to Mexico than the other one [New York]. Los Angeles area is the world’s seventh largest economy. Mexico City is one of the most important cities in all Latin America, even bigger than Colombia .”
On his talks with his counterpart, the Mayor of Mexico City Gabriel Mancera, Garcetti remarked that “with Mancera,we have reaffirmed not only our friendship but an action agenda on the environment and transport. Mega-cities face the great challenges of our time, such as climate change and crime. The collaboration between our cities is very important.”
Garcetti also made it clear that the role of mega-cities is really important. Speaking of Benjamin R. Barber’s book “If mayors rule the world”, Garcetti said “laboratories of innovation and innovation leaders are emerging locally. […]We have faith on a global economy, but success depends on us. ”
Closing his speech, Garcetti assured that both Los Angeles and Mexico City should deepen its ties for the following decades: “There are leaders who want to be met on both sides of the border.” He said his vision for L.A in relation to Mexico City is “to make Los Angeles a door for Mexico to Asia and another one for Asia to Mexico.”