Virginia Arteaga-Haid, Mexico’s trade commissioner for the Southeast, wants Georgia companies to broaden their involvement throughout Latin America by forming alliances with Mexican partners.

      “We understand each other more or less,” she said of Latin Americans in an interview with GlobalFax at her Peachtree Center office. “We have the same past., and we are in the same industrial development stage.”

      Having assumed her position last month, Ms. Arteaga-Haid is ready to help match Georgia companies that want to form such alliances, to transfer technology or to find opportunities for  investments.

      She also is turning her attention to what she feels needs to be done here.  Mexican companies should open warehouses, she said, so that they may use Atlanta as a point of distribution for their products throughout the region.  She already has set the commission to researching the costs of such arrangements, and several Mexican furniture manufacturers are interested, she said.

      Southeastern promotions of Mexican products such as gifts, accessories , textiles, electronics and metalworking parts for the automobile industry will be a priority, she added.

      And she said that she wants more Mexican companies to be permanently located in the Merchandise Mart, creating a greater awareness that many products sold in stores like Macys and Neiman-Marcus are actually made in Mexico.

      Not least, she would like to have more opportunities to dine in restaurants that offer authentic Mexican dishes.  “The main problem is that most American believe that ‘Tex-Mex’ is authentic Mexican food.  Even after living in Dallas for eight years, I found only one authentic Mexican restaurant there,” she said.

      She may be reached by calling (404) 522-5373; fax, (404) 681-3361.