The Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta has joined with 13 other local organizations to strengthen Georgia’s economic relationship with Mexico.

The organizations are the Association of Ex-Students of Tec de Monterrey of Georgia; the Club of Mexicans from Acambay, State of Mexico; the Club of Mexicans from Durango; the Club of Mexicans from San Marcos, Guerrero; the Club of Mexicans from Tulillo, Jalisco; the Club of Mexicans from Zimapan, Hidalgo;

the Institute of Mexico; the Mexican American Association of Georgia; the Mexican American Business Chamber; the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Mexican Center of Atlanta; Representatives of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad and the Trade Commission of Mexico (Bancomext).

The organizations plan to encourage economic exchanges between Georgia’s and Mexico’s public and private sectors, as well as build better communication between Mexicans in Atlanta and the larger community.

The group met for the second time on April 15 and plans to meet once each month to address local issues, including plans to discourage the advancement in the Georgia Legislature of House Resolution 256 that would restrict non-residents’ access to public services.

The group was initially formed to fight this resolution, said Beatriz Gasiba, president of the Mexican American Business Chamber, but the organizations will work on other issues as well. Organizing day laborers and teaching them skills to better their job prospects will be another focus of the group, Ms. Gasiba said.

Mexico is the U.S.’ third largest trading partner, with Georgia exports to Mexico rising more than 28 percent last year to $1.5 billion. Mexicans living in Georgia contributed to the majority of the $1 billion in remittances sent to Latin America in 2003. Some 400,000 Mexicans live in Georgia, representing 4.5 percent of the state’s total population. Hispanic buying power in Georgia is $10.9 billion, and 73.5 percent of Hispanics here are Mexican.

Contact the Mexican Consulate at (404) 266-2233 or the Mexican Chamber at (770) 441-7581 for more information.