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Introducing Minnesota

6/23/2015 1:39:43 PM

Ruben Barrera's journalistic career has taken him from Mexico to Latin America and Texas. Now the correspondent for the Mexico City-based wire service Notimex is heading farther north to learn about Minnesota.

Barrera is among the foreign journalists in town this week for a press visit sponsored by DEED and the Minnesota Trade Office. The goal of the visit is to introduce foreign journalists to the state and its economy. Besides the Twin Cities, the group will be making stops in Rochester and Duluth.

Officials hope the journalists will return home after the four-day visit to write stories about major economic development projects and industries in Minnesota. The visits, along with trade missions and other initiatives, are part of DEED's strategy to introduce Minnesota to the world and help build exports and foreign direct investment.

Mexico, in particular, is an important market for Minnesota. Mexico became the state's second-largest export market (behind Canada) last year, with sales climbing 52 percent from a year earlier to $2.2 billion. Since 2004, Minnesota exports sales to Mexico have jumped 255 percent, adjusted for inflation.

Minnesota companies send a broad range of manufactured exports to Mexico, including machinery, electrical machinery, vehicles, plastics and foods, as well as agricultural commodities such as corn and soybeans. Cargill, 3M, H.B. Fuller, St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, Ecolab, Valspar and C.H. Robinson are among Minnesota companies doing business in Mexico.

Gov. Mark Dayton will lead a trade mission to Mexico City and Guadalajara in August that will focus on strengthening Minnesota exports and ties to the world's 15th largest economy.

Barrera and the other visiting journalists have a busy few days ahead of them. Among today's activities, they will visit the University of Minnesota Medical Device Center in Minneapolis. From there, they will head to Rochester to tour the Mayo Clinic and learn more about the $6 billion Destination Medical Center project.

Other activities this week include visits to Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, the Downtown East project in Minneapolis and Ecolab in St. Paul.

Watch this space over the next two days to learn more about other visiting journalists and what they will see and learn in Minnesota.

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