A German trade official visited Laredo and Texas A&M International University's College of Business Administration recently to gain an understanding of trade relations on this part of the border.
Corinna Nienstedt, deputy director of the Foreign Trade Department at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, in Hamburg, Germany, toured the United States Customs, Nuevo Laredo maquiladoras, and spoke with professors and students of the University to learn about how trade is conducted in Laredo.
Nienstedt, who has also held the position of assistant to the director of the Central Europe Department in the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, visited the United States at the invitation of the United States Information Agency. The agency seeks to provide foreign delegates information about trade through tours of United States' major ports.
Duane Burdorf, director of the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development, said that the United States Information Agency often chooses Laredo as a destination for visitors because of its position in the U.S.-Mexico trade. Almost one-third of the total U.S.-Mexico trade passes through the Port of Laredo, he said.
Laredo is also using modern technology like the North American Trade Automation Prototype (NATAP), which moves goods across the border via Internet processing of custom documents before the goods arrive in Laredo, Burdorf added.
"Most people that have visited us through the United States Information Agency tell us that Laredo is the most interesting place they have visited. Because of the amount of trade that exists here and NAFTA, they see what the United States has done to facilitate trade with Mexico," Burdorf said.
For further information, please contact Burdorf at 326-2547. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.