TAMIU Expands Educational
Exchange Opportunities with Central America
While Laredo welcomed major Central American exporters to the city last week in an effort to solidify business ties with them, Texas A&M International University signed various agreements with their respective trade associations and chambers of commerce to collaborate on educational exchange opportunities in the future.
TAMIU signed an umbrella agreement with the Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America, Panama, and the Caribbean (FECAXA) as well as individual memoranda of understanding with the Association of Panamanian Exporters (APEX), Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (APEN), Association of Guatemalan Exporters (AGEXPORT), and the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (CADEXCO).
Dr. Jaime Ortiz, associate vice president for International Programs, said the agreements would allow TAMIU and the various Central American chamber and trade organizations to work together on educational opportunities. Specific activities may include executive education seminars, workshops, research collaborations and student internship opportunities.
“A few days ago, during the ‘First Business Round Table Laredo-Central America,’ we planted a seed that will hopefully evolve into a much bigger undertaking,” Dr. Ortiz said, “We were able to get to know one another, now, it is time to develop a relationship to start working on very specific actions.”
The Costa Rican trade representatives have already asked TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business to prepare a feasibility study on optimal logistics in transport of merchandise from Costa Rica to the United States, Ortiz said.
“It will be our very first project,” Ortiz sad, “It involves diagnosing the situation and proposing alternatives and solutions which are both effective and efficient.”
Ortiz said currently, TAMIU has a small population of Central American students on campus. The signed agreements will help increase the University’s visibility in the region, he said.
“Through these agreements, we hope to be able to open the doors for more Central American students to pursue their higher education dreams at our University,” Ortíz said, “At the same time, we will continue to serve as the technical arm for the City of Laredo in terms of information, research and dissemination of study results.”
The “First Business Round Table Laredo-Central America,” a 3-day conference hosted at TAMIU last week, was the result of a trip Laredo city leaders took to Central America in December to promote Laredo as a competitive logistical hub for international trade.
According to City of Laredo figures, the Port of Laredo is currently the sixth largest commercial port in the United States, generating more than $173 billion in international trade annually. The city has four international bridges, two of which serve exclusively for heavy trailer traffic. The Laredo International Airport has invested $150 million in infrastructure during the last few years.
City figures state that the cost of landing and parking at Laredo International Airport is the most competitive compared to many other international airports in U.S. cities utilized for the transport of national and international cargo.
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