City leaders promote Laredo to Central American countries
Dec 7, 2009
Dec 8, 2009
The three city officials who traveled to Central America to promote Laredo as a premiere port of entry will be returning home after going to six countries in 10 days.
The city's mayor, airport manager, and city manager, pitched Laredo’s geographical location as its competitive advantage over the city's they currently export to.
By the sounds of it, this idea is widely supported by council. The length of the trip however has some council members wondering if the trip is going to be as effective as they hoped.
Dr. Michael Landeck supports the idea of promoting Laredo as a major port. He just doesn't think 10 days is enough time to get six countries to do business with us.
City officials want Latin American countries to use our port of entry as an alternative to other U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Miami for their commerce.
Another councilman says it’s where Laredo is on the map that will get these countries to use our port to export fruits, vegetables and meats.
But the question remains: Why would these Latin American countries even consider making Laredo their premiere port of entry when they have already established their connections in cities like Miami, a sea port?
According to Councilman Mike Garza:
"When you have a vessel that's out in the water, there is longer delays. Rail will always be more advantageous than that and trucking. You can get anything you want anywhere in the country in 24 hours in a truck and I think that’s something we have a competitive advantage on."
But did they really have the time to convince these people abroad that their goods can get to Laredo by air, truck, and rail?
"Now we have to start working very, very hard developing those relations. It takes time before you can be successful with such things."
Mayor rail Salinas, airport manager Jose Flores, and City Manager Carlos Villarreal are wrapping things up in Panama.
They are expected to return home Tuesday.
Countries that are interested in doing business in Laredo will be invited to visit in February.