Featured Speakers Included Southwest Airlines Chairman and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
The World Trade Center St. Louis hosted their annual premier business event, Growing Global 2020, on Friday, 9/25. Though this year’s event looked different being held virtually, the topics of travel and globalization couldn’t be more relevant to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Trade Center St. Louis partnered with Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines and Christopher Landau, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico to walk us through this year’s theme, “Globalization In Transition”.
Ambassador Landau said the ties between Mexico and Missouri trade is excellent and will continue to be with the July 1st implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“USMCA will boost investments on both sides of the border and further deepen trade and investment ties between Missouri and Mexico,” Ambassador Landau said. “As we face the mutual challenge of the global pandemic, USMCA will be one of the necessary engines to move us forward, restart manufacturing and production, and give confidence to consumers and investors alike, so that our economies can grow.”
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page agrees that the relationship between Mexico and Missouri is vital, and that St. Louis is a major part of that relationship.
“St. Louis shares a special relationship with Mexico,” County Executive Page said. “St. Louis’ ties to the Hispanic community are deep and stretch back to the early 1830’s. Today, more than 15,000 Mexicans call St. Louis home.”
CEO and President of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Rodney Crim said that the Partnership is working closely with The St. Louis Mosaic Project making St. Louis a better home for foreign born.
“We are all in with working with the St. Louis Mosaic Project making the region much more welcoming to foreign born,” Crim said.
Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven difficult, but St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson said that the industry is evolving as needed.
“In the midst of COVID-19, the airline industry is working to solve some of the more complex challenges of the evolving business environment and a global economy truly in transition,” Mayor Krewson said.
Although air travel is changing and evolving with the pandemic, Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines, said that St. Louis is still a favorite of the airline.
“You have a fantastic airport, airport director & political leadership we enjoy working with,” Kelly said. “St. Louis will continue to be a prime focus for us. It’s a great market, great city.”
Watch the Growing Global 2020 event recording below.