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Why Canadian Companies Are Eyeing Arizona And Mexico

Our neighbors to the far north are paying close attention to Arizona’s business relationship with Mexico. That’s because some Canadian companies plan to cash in.

If your first thought about Canadians is "snowbirds," Glenn Williamson says you’re missing a bigger picture. 

“You're now sitting here with over 450 Canadian companies in the state,” he said.

Williamson, CEO of  Canada-Arizona Business Council, participated in a panel discussion on global trade at Urban Land Institute Arizona Trends Day in Phoenix. 

He predicted more Canadian companies will move to Arizona, thanks to its location and strong business ties throughout Mexico and Latin America. 

“That is one of the most important growth factors that I see coming up in the next ten years,” he said. “If you’re in Toronto or you’re in Montreal and you’re a major corporation and you want to do work in Latin America, it’s a bit of a hike," Williamson said. 

But, he said, being able to do business in a state where there is a substantial Canadian population and strong political and business support for international trade is attractive to companies in Canada.

Last year, Arizona and the Canadian Province of Alberta agreed to loosen lending restrictions between banks and businesses to encourage more investment in both locations. Other states have similar agreements. Williamson said Arizona is close to reaching a financial reciprocity deal with Ontario.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.