For Arizona, Exporting is a Way to New Business

group photo of business exporting experts

Phoenix Business Journal Afternoon Edition: TECHFLASH
Guest writer: Dawn Nagle
Published, Jul 8, 2016, 1:09pm MST

MPEXA with Kenneth Smith Ramos, minister of the Trade and NAFTA Office at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., to discuss opportunities to grow Arizona exports to Mexico.  Left to right: Karen Allen, US Commercial Services – Alika Kumar, MBDA – Dawn Nagle, MPEXA – Minister Kenneth Smith Ramos – Mike Patterson, Polsinelli – Hank Marshal, City of Phoenix.

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, it is crucial for small business owners to become knowledgeable about exportation and the great advantage it can have for their businesses.

We already know companies using exporting are 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business, and workers in these jobs receive up to 18 percent higher wages, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. That’s quite significant. We’ve reached a point where business owners need to not only be more aware of opportunities available to them but to actually use them to their full potential.

Every day, the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance is helping companies link to exporting opportunities, get trained, find the resources they need and get advice on everything from regulations to identifying international opportunities and using trade agreements.

MPEXA is part of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Velocity program in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, Global Cities Initiative and JPMorgan Chase. It is supported by metro Phoenix export stakeholders committed to building a stronger export-driven regional economy.

MPEXA was created to unify the region’s export resource so companies can easily link to the resources they need to begin exporting or to expand into new international markets. Many of the governmental resources are provided at no charge.

Keep in mind exporting is not just about shipping boxes across borders. The service industry is one of the fastest-growing exporting sectors in the U.S. due to technology advances. Service exports with high growth potential exist in e-business and information technologies, environment, transportation, finance, banking, insurance, education, tourism, telecommunications, architecture and engineering.

The largest emerging market for U.S. service exports is Mexico, according to This is good news for companies in our state because the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office managed in Mexico City by the Arizona Commerce Authority exists to help businesses here expand sales into Mexico.

Exposing small to midsize companies to such opportunities is critical to MPEXA’s mission to double the value of exports as a percentage of Greater Phoenix’s gross domestic product by 2025. That is why last month several MPEXA board members and I met with Kenneth Smith Ramos, minister of the Trade and NAFTA Office at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., to discuss opportunities to grow Arizona exports to Mexico. The minister, who was in Phoenix for the Arizona-Mexico Commission Summit, noted that overall Mexican exports of final goods contain nearly 40 percent U.S.-sourced materials. That means 40 cents of every dollar spent on Mexican-made goods goes to U.S. businesses.

This translates into opportunities. For example, Arizona small and midsize enterprises recently assisted by MPEXA included a tool manufacturer interested in expanding direct sales into Mexico’s automotive and aerospace industry. Of course, Mexico is not the only destination for results we can offer. MPEXA also assisted a network systems integrator in need of work visas in Canada and a genomic technology company interested in exporting educational services to Asia.

How can MPEXA help you? For more information, contact me at or 602-368-5608.

Dawn Nagle is the director of Metro Phoenix Export Alliance.