Automation Alley seeks business for Mexico trade trip

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

Automation Alley is looking for small-to-medium size businesses in Southeast Michigan that would want to attend a trade mission to Mexico in September.

Interested companies are asked to register by Aug. 14. The trip itself will take place between Sept. 20-25, with the group making stops in Mexico City, Puebla, Querétaro and Guanajuato.

This is the third time the technology business association will travel south of the border, citing popularity of the trip and the opportunities it gives local businesses to expand overseas.

Prior to each trade mission, Automation Alley works with the Michigan Mexico Center to arrange matchmaking meetings for mission participants with potential clients, customers, end users, distributors and agents, joint-venture partners and technology licensees. Participants can expect to meet with two to three companies per day while on the mission.

To date, Automation Alley has led 170 local companies on 24 trade missions to locations around the globe, resulting in $472 million in export sales for those companies.

Mexico offers a number of advantages for companies looking to expand their business abroad. The country is Michigan’s second-largest market overseas, behind Canada, with $10.8 billion in exports being shipped to Mexico alone last year. Latin America’s second-largest economy, Mexico has free trade agreements with 44 countries, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, providing U.S. companies with preferential access to an additional one billion consumers, or 60 percent of global gross domestic product.

Mexico has a particularly high demand for automotive and automotive components services, aerospace, design, engineering and advanced manufacturing. Other fields that would be of interest include clean-tech and environmental, information technology and medical.

In addition to matchmaking meetings, mission participants will also attend business receptions and meet with government officials and business leaders, who will share insights into the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Mexico.

The cost to participate is $4,995 for Automation Alley members or $5,595 for non-members. This amount includes flights, lodging, transportation and tours.

Participation is limited to 10 companies, and only a few spots remain. Interested companies should ask about the State Trade and Export Program (STEP) to find out if they qualify for funding that can be applied toward the cost of the mission.

For more information or to register, contact Lisa Lasser at (248) 457-3283 or

(313) 222-2127