COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A spring trade mission to Mexico generated at least $97 million in new business for 31 Ohio companies, and the long-term economic impact could be even greater, Gov. Bob Taft announced Wednesday.
In May, Taft (pictured, right) led the delegation to Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to meet with several of Mexico's leading companies, including Volkswagen of Mexico, DaimlerChrysler of Mexico, Wal-Mart of Mexico and Caterpillar Mexico.
The delegation included representatives of 42 Ohio companies eager to drum up trade and investment in Mexico, the state's second-largest foreign trading partner.
Ohio's annual exports to Mexico now top $2 billion.
"Our primary mission goal was to create jobs and revenue for Ohio by promoting Ohio exports to Mexico, and that's exactly what we have done," Taft said in a statement."Although it will take months and even years to measure the full impact of the mission, I'm pleased that so many members of the delegation expect to increase their sales to Mexico as a direct result of the mission."
It was Taft's fourth international trip since taking office in 1999.
Taft earlier led delegations to Japan, South America and Germany. Those taxpayer-paid trips generated $348 million in sales and investments, International Trade Division figures show.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)