Governor Patrick Announces Innovation Mission To Panama And Mexico To Grow The Massachusetts Global Economy

 Governor Patrick Announces Innovation Mission To Panama And Mexico To Grow The Massachusetts Global Economy

Mission will cultivate Massachusetts relationships with key Latin American centers of growth

BOSTON – Monday, March 10, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced an innovation mission to Panama and Mexico from March 17, 2014 – March 22, 2014.  The mission will bring together leaders in government and business to focus on strengthening existing relationships and building new ones with the emerging innovation economies of Panama City and Mexico City.

“Lasting growth in the 21st century global economy will come from our competitiveness in global markets and opening up Massachusetts to the markets where we share strengths,” said Governor Patrick. “The leaders in business and government and venture capitalists of Latin America’s growth centers are eager to collaborate with us because they recognize that Massachusetts is an innovation hub with a disciplined strategy for growth.”

On Monday, Governor Patrick will join Emirates Airlines to officially launch the new nonstop flight from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Dubai.

Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts is competing on the international stage and winning. For example:

  • Logan now serves 36 overseas markets with non-stop service, up from 26 a decade ago, with recent flights added to Dublin, Madrid, Toronto, the Dominican Republic, Tokyo, Panama City, Istanbul, Dubai and Beijing.
  • In the inaugural year of Japan Airlines’ non-stop service to and from Tokyo, visitors from Japan to Massachusetts increased by 43 percent, with those visitors spending approximately $108 million in Massachusetts.
  • Logan saw record numbers of travelers in the last three years.  International air service is the fastest growing segment of the Logan travel market, up 20 percent in the past 10 years.  5.7 million international travelers passed through Logan last year, making up 1 in 5 passengers.  Massport’s forecasts between now and November expect departing international seats to increase by 7.5 percent.  Logan’s international terminal is undergoing a makeover to create a welcoming environment for passengers traveling to Massachusetts for pleasure and for business.  International customers benefit from shorter wait times through immigration and customs compared to other major East Coast airports.
  • Spending by international visitors hit $2.3 billion this past year.  Visitor spending currently supports 127,000 Massachusetts jobs and over $1 billion in state and local taxes – those numbers are up 4 percent from last year.
  • Governor Patrick recently announced $100 million in renovations to Logan’s international terminal, to better serve international travelers.
  • Massachusetts merchandise exports increased 4.6 percent last year to $26.8 billion.
  • This year, Massachusetts colleges and universities are hosting over 46,000 international students — an increase of 13 percent over last year.
  • Massachusetts added over 55,000 jobs in 2013, the largest number of jobs created in a single year in nearly 15 years.
  • The mission to Latin America will build on this strategy by strengthening the Massachusetts relationship with key global growth centers.


The Massachusetts-Panama Connection:

Massachusetts shares a strong relationship with Panama, that has grown since COPA Airlines added a non-stop flight from Logan Airport to Panama City in 2012 and the Panamanian government has developed a growth strategy focused on science.  In 2013, Panama was Massachusetts’ 84th ranked import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $4.34 million worth of goods and services; additionally Panama was Massachusetts’ 51st ranked export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $22.5 million worth of goods and services.  In Panama, the Governor and the delegation will meet with Dr. Ruben Berrocal, Panama’s Minister of Science, CAPAtec, the Panamanian Chamber of Information Technology and Communications, officials that oversee the Panama Canal, and innovation leaders in Panama’s “City of Knowledge.” The Panama Canal is currently undergoing an expansion that once complete will potentially double the inputs and outputs through the Conley Container Terminal in South Boston.


The Massachusetts-Mexico Connection:

Massachusetts and Mexico share a strong, established relationship that with the proper cultivation has the potential to develop significantly. In 2013, Mexico was Massachusetts’ 3rd ranked import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $3.37 billion worth of goods and services.  Mexico was Massachusetts’ 3rd ranked export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.86 billion worth of goods and services.  Similar to the Patrick Administration, the Pena Nieto Administration has pursued a growth strategy that invests in education, innovation, and infrastructure. While in Mexico, Governor Patrick will meet with several high-ranking members of the Pena Nieto Administration to share best practices, and discuss how to best cultivate the Massachusetts-Mexico relationship. The Governor and delegation will also meet with leaders in Mexico’s clean energy, big data, life sciences and transportation sectors.  In Mexico, Governor Patrick and the delegation will be joined by leaders of clean energy technology companies, including Tod Hynes of XL Hybrids, Tom Pincince of Digital Lumens, Nadav Efraty of Desalitech and Paul Sellew of Harvest Power.

“Governor Patrick’s mission to Mexico comes at a perfect time to strengthen our bonds and maximize the opportunities for developing new partnerships in state-of-the-art sectors,» said Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph, Consul General of Mexico in Boston. «Massachusetts is a global leader in the knowledge economy and, under President Enrique Peña Nieto’s leadership Mexico is consolidating the foundations for a new competitiveness paradigm that increasingly relies on ideas and technology, by dynamically fostering entrepreneurship and innovation».

“Nothing replaces face-to-face contact in trying to establish connections in a new export market,» said Kristen Rupert, Executive Director of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts International Business Council. «The Governor also has the unique ability to open doors for commercial relationships.  AIM members benefit from these missions, and numerous companies have seen tangible results. I look forward to the mission to Panama and Mexico and helping Massachusetts employers explore business and collaboration opportunities in two growing markets.”

“As a world-leading provider of high efficiency water and wastewater treatment solutions, Desalitech’s mission is to improve water and energy use efficiency in the industrial and agricultural sectors, and save significant costs while becoming more environmentally responsible,” said Nadav Efraty, CEO of Desalitech. Water shortage and quality as well as industrial wastewater disposal are among the world’s toughest problems. It is a great privilege for us to be part of the vibrant water cluster of Massachusetts, formed under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, and to be joining him on the Mexico Innovation Mission. Striving to develop global opportunities while advancing an environmental agenda, the Mission provides the perfect platform for one of Desalitech’s most significant business announcements.”


Past Innovation Missions Creating Growth and Opportunity:

In March 2011, Governor Patrick led a coalition of the Commonwealth’s leaders on a mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. Following the mission, UK-based companies Cambridge Consultants, Sagentia and TotalMobile announced plans to expand and add jobs in Massachusetts. Israeli biotech firm EarlySense also announced it is adding jobs and establishing its U.S. headquarters in Waltham. Israeli company Desalitech, Ltd., a provider of advanced water treatment solutions, is now headquartered in Newton. Last year, a report by the New England-Israel Business Council confirmed that the 2011 mission led to Israeli-founded companies in the Commonwealth growing three times as fast as the Commonwealth’s economy as a whole.

In December of 2011, Governor Patrick led a trade mission to Brazil and Chile focused on creating jobs in the life sciences, IT, clean energy and education sectors and solidifying the already strong Massachusetts-Brazil connection. During the trade mission to Chile and Brazil, Governor Patrick signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera that expands collaboration between Massachusetts and Chile in the areas of clean energy, biotechnology and education; participated in EMC’s groundbreaking of a new Big Data facility at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro; announced an agreement between Massachusetts-based Akamai and Sky Brasil, a Brazilian television subscription company, to bring online video rental services to the country; and announced an academic exchanges program between faculty and students from Brazilian and American Universities, including the University of Massachusetts system.

In February 2012, Governor Patrick led a delegation to Colombia and joined President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize collaboration between Massachusetts and Colombia in the areas of science, technology and innovation, including in the life sciences, digital technology and clean energy industries. In 2011, the United States signed a free trade agreement with Colombia, opening up an estimated $1.1 billion market for U.S. exports.

In December 2013, Governor Patrick led a delegation of the Commonwealth’s business and government leaders to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones in the clean energy, life sciences, eHealth, transportation, technology and other innovation sectors. While in Asia, the Governor oversaw agreements between clean energy companies EnerNOC and Marubeni and Desalitech and Toyo Engineering that will help grow the Commonwealth’s already strong clean energy sector. The Commonwealth has already welcomed a delegation from the Kanagawa Prefecture, specifically interested in collaborating in eHealth sector.  Massachusetts leaders in the water innovation industry are currently working on a formal agreement with Singapore that will spur bi-lateral economic development, match interests between research institutes and universities, and share best practices.