A group of 11 faculty and students representing Universidad Americana, of Paraguay, recently visited Texas A&M International University to study the University and gain further knowledge about the vibrant commercial activity existing in this U.S.-Mexico border, particularly the maquiladora industry.
During their five-day stay at the University, the group, led by Dr. Antonio Montiel, dean of the business school, attended lectures and participated in site tours designed to provide the group information about maquiladoras, the transportation industry and global business marketplace.
"Our purpose was to get to know Texas A&M International University and to have an academic experience. We also came here to start the process of establishing a student exchange program between Texas A&M International University and our university," said Montiel, also an A&M International alumnus (1992).
Universidad Americana is an institution located in Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay.
Among the site visits the group conducted were tours of the SONY plant in Nuevo Laredo and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.
"For us, this opportunity is very important for several reasons. For one, we are getting to know this University, thus broadening the avenue for other Paraguayan students to come to study in the United States. Also, by working together with Texas A&M International University, we are able to internationalize our program of study. In addition, we are planning to open an international language institute in Paraguay," Montiel said.
Besides the academic benefits, the visit gave the group a chance to learn about maquiladoras, a business concept still unfamiliar to many Paraguayans, Montiel said.
"In Paraguay, we have a commercial situation similar to that of Laredo's. We have a city called Ciudad del Este, a border city where we maintain an active commercial relationship with Brazil. In Paraguay we are also talking about the possibility of applying the maquiladora concept. However, this concept is not very familiar and we have to conduct much research and clarify many of the confusions about the concept before we can apply it to our country," he said.
For further information, please contact the College of Business Administration at 326-2480. University office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.