In his first foreign trip since taking office, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's three-day trade mission in Mexico City got underway as he met with Mexican leaders in hopes of strengthening the country's ties to Southern California.
As the mayor of the home to the second largest population of Mexican nationals outside of Mexico City, Garcetti's end results of the trip may be more direct dealings with the capital city and increased imports and exports through the Port of Los Angeles.
Garcetti on Monday met with the mayor of Mexico City and the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, seeking opportunities for cross-border sharing of technology and development.
"So here's to two great cities who are sisters, two mayors who are now brothers, and to all of us seeing a future that will be written together," Garcetti said at a Monday afternoon conference.
Garcetti signed "The "Los Angeles-Mexico City International Cities Economic Alliance," an agreement with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa to expand shared economic goals, investments and trade, according to Garcetti's office.
"For Mexico City firms to invest in Los Angeles, and if we see each other as an economic corridor, we see that we have great, great potential," said Solomon Chertorviski of the Woldenberg Government of Mexico City.
Among the desires are more cruise ships from Mexico into the Port of Los Angeles, more flights into Los Angeles airports, and more visitors the city for tourism.
Monday evening, Garcetti met with 200 Mexican industrialists in a private closed-door session and pitched Los Angeles as a place to invest. Garcetti acknowledges that there are environmental regulations that must be navigated but says it's worth it.
A slew of events were on Garcetti's planner, including the announcement of a major expansion of LA-based Panda Express restaurants in Mexico. He is scheduled to meet with more Mexican officials Tuesday, as well as with alumni from the University of Southern California Tuesday morning.
NBC4 is the only English-language television station covering the mayor's trip from Mexico 4You.