Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and state commerce officials are traveling to Mexico this week in an official state visit to promote strengthening diplomatic and economic partnerships.
The trip south comes after a major announcement last week that the Mexican government plans to open a consulate in Oklahoma City.
“I am very excited to continue expanding the relationship between Oklahoma and Mexico, and I am particularly pleased that Mexico recently announced plans to open a consulate in Oklahoma,” Stitt said in a statement.
“I feel proud, and I really like helping people,” Oklahoma City business owner Leticia Cerna said.
“I always had a dream to be the owner to some business,” her son Victor Acosta said.
For the Mexican mother and son business owners, the news of a coming Mexican consulate is more than welcome.
“I would plead with them, please for all the Mexican people like us, all the stuff that we have to do, it’s a lot,” Cerna said. “There’s a lot of people that are desperate because they don’t have their passport, they lose a lot of things.”
Currently, people in Oklahoma who still maintain their Mexican citizenship must drive to Little Rock, Arkansas, for things like passports, legal and financial documents.
Cerna and Acosta were part of a letter writing campaign to the Mexican foreign secretary that included lobbying by Stitt and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt to bring those services to the Sooner State.
Stitt is set to meet with officials from the U.S. Embassy and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. Meetings are also scheduled in Mexico City with leaders from Mexico’s energy industry.
“Obviously, it’s really important for this community. It’s very important for an economic development standpoint,” said Robert Ruiz with the Scissortail Community Development Corporation.
Aside from advocating for the promised consulate, Stitt is also focusing on expanding manufacturing partnerships with Mexico.
At least 17 companies in Oklahoma have parent locations headquartered in Mexico. According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Mexico consistently remains one of Oklahoma’s top export destination.
The governor and Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Scott Mueller will also travel to Monterrey, Mexico, to conduct business recruitment meetings and visit Universidad Tec de Monterrey to discuss educational partnerships.
“I know the governor is traveling to Mexico City,” Acosta said. “That means a lot. That means Oklahoma cares about Mexicans here in OKC.”
The state trip is scheduled for two nights and three days. Stitt is set to return on Thursday to Oklahoma.
News 9 will be traveling with the Oklahoma delegation to document the trip. Watch for coverage starting at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.