Thank you, Jerry and hello California friends! And, by that I mean to Californians north and south of the border, including: the Mexican Consul General of San Diego, the Honorable Maria de los Remedios, Senador Ernesto Ruffo, Senador Victor Hermosillo, Diputado David Perez Tejada Padilla, the mayors of the cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, and Tecate, and others too numerous to mention.
It is good to be here tonight. I extend a warm welcome to you all here in Mexico City and congratulate you on your tenth annual trade mission to Mexico. I hope you find your time here enjoyable, informative, and productive. As you kick off your time here, I would like to briefly mention a few topics that impact the CaliBaja Mega-Region.
Cross-border trade: Cross-border trade is at an all-time high and continuing this trend is important to us all. The integrated approach to economic development by the CaliBaja Mega-Region is a dynamic driver of that growth. This Mega-Region integrates innovation and technology such as advanced manufacturing centers in sectors including: aerospace, biotechnology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and more.
Border infrastructure: Regarding border infrastructure, the State Route 11/Otay (pronounced oh-tie) Mesa East Point of Entry Project is a flagship border infrastructure project that will enhance binational prosperity. We look forward to increased capacity at the Otay Mesa East point of entry which will reduce border wait times and thereby increase productivity and competiveness. This is a priority project for both the U.S. and Mexico and we look forward to seeing it come online in 2017 and the increased economic opportunities that will come with it.
Cleantech and renewable energy: Finally, I would like to mention energy and its importance in powering these advances. CaliBaja is the hub for both nations in the global cleantech and in the renewable energy revolutions. CaliBaja has over 47,000 megawatts (MW) of technical potential for geothermal, solar, wind and biomass sources.
CaliBaja is also an important global center for the development of water technologies and green construction technology. Over 900 companies located throughout CaliBaja are benefitting from the unique bi-national cleantech business environment and we hope more will join them.
Yes, there are many reasons to be excited about the Cali Baja Mega-Region and we are excited that you are here. I know my embassy team is looking forward to meeting with you tomorrow morning. Once again, welcome to Mexico City and we hope you enjoy your time here.