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Huntsman Heads for Mexico

Huntsman Heads for Mexico

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- In his half-hour meeting scheduled with Mexican President Vicente Fox on Wednesday in Mexico City, Gov. Jon Huntsman plans to invite him to visit Utah.

Huntsman was to leave Monday for the short trip that is intended to foster a meaningful relationship with Mexico's officials and business leaders.

Huntsman said his main priorities are to get a commitment from Fox to visit Utah and to connect with two or three industries that might be compatible with state businesses.

He hopes to make ties with universities and biotechnology and infotechnology companies.

"I want to tell them more about what's happening in this part of the U.S.," he said in a phone interview late with The Salt Lake Tribune last week. "It would solidify a meaningful relationship as well."

As of Friday night, Huntsman's small contingent had just three confirmed meetings, but Huntsman said his two days in Mexico will be busy. He said several meetings have been proposed that had not yet been confirmed.

Huntsman said Mexico could be a good partner when it comes to economic development, education and cultural events. He said he recognizes the Mexican community in Utah is growing rapidly, and it's only natural he makes ties in Mexico and learns more about it.

"As governor, you're the governor of all the people," he said. "I want to make sure we are aware of the questions on the minds of the Mexican community."

While economic development is the primary focus, Huntsman wants to make it clear that the trip is not a trade mission. Instead, he calls it a "policy-development mission."

Huntsman said he hopes state business leaders are able to organize a trade mission later to Mexico with the contacts he makes while he's there. He also plans to visit China, and maybe India, early next year.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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