Mexican president Vicente Fox has personally instructed the new consul general of Mexico in Atlanta, Maria de los Remedios Gomez-Arnau, to work to increase trade links between small businesses in Mexico and the U.S., Ms. Gomez-Arnau told GlobalFax following a press conference last week at the Mexican consulate.

          Ms. Gomez-Arnau said she will work with the Mexican American Business Chamber Atlanta to carry out Fox’s small business initiatives and to encourage Georgia companies to invest ‘seed money’ into Mexican small industry.

She at the press conference at the Mexican consulate that she also hopes to forward Fox’s plan to encourage the opening of the international border between Mexico and the U.S. to allow the free flow of workers between the countries.

She wants to initiate pilot programs that would grant Mexicans working in agriculture, as well as other industries such as construction, H2-class work visas. These visas would allow Mexicans to work seasonally in Georgia.

Ms. Gomez-Arnau also said she will try, with the collaboration of other Latino organizations, to make local companies aware of their undocumented Hispanic workers’ need to obtain drivers licenses in Georgia and to involve companies in supporting Latino rights in general.

Ms. Gomez-Arnau was previously academic secretary of the Center for North American Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and is an expert on Mexico-U.S. migration and the consular protection of Mexicans outside of Mexico.

She participated in the Mexico-U.S. Binational Group on Immigration organized by the Autonomous Technical Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that presented to the Mexican and U.S. presidents in February its recommendations for bilateral relations regarding immigration.

Ms. Gomez-Arnau may be reached at (404) 266-2233 ext. 221.