BCIC, RSTEC to host virtual tour for British Consulate

A view from the inside of the new airport terminal Wednesday as construction continues at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, which Congressman Filemon Vela, D, Brownsville, announced the city of Brownsville was awarded an additional $2,656,421 from the Federal Aviation Administration through the Airport Improvment Program. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporations (BCIC) and the Rio South Texas Economic Council (RSTEC) are set to host a virtual tour of the Rio Grande Valley border region for the British Consulate General in Houston.

“We are essentially taking what would have been an in-person tour of Brownsville, into a full week long virtual event that showcases the unlimited possibilities of our borderplex region,” says Josh Mejia, BCIC Executive Director. “We’re working with our regional partners and neighboring economic development organizations to showcase the best that the Valley has to offer.”

With current social distancing measures continuing to disrupt travel, the event will be held online and will include a number of local and international economic development organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.

“I am excited to tour, virtually, the important border region of the Rio Grande Valley. The UK is the largest foreign investor in Texas. I look forward to discussing the economic development opportunities a US-UK Free Trade Agreement could bring to the area and how we might increase further the UK-Texas trading relationship. Most importantly I look forward to speaking with a broad range of different people to get a real sense of the issues, challenges and opportunities in this fascinating region,” says Richard Hyde, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. “I hope that this will be the first of many engagements between the British Consulate General and the Rio Grande Valley. A virtual visit can never replace a real visit, and I look forward to visiting properly as soon as I can.”

The virtual business trip by the United Kingdom’s Consul General in Houston will be the first official visit ever – virtual or otherwise – by a British diplomat to the Rio Grande Valley.

“As Great Britain is not only a major player in global trade, but is also Texas’ largest source of Foreign Direct Investment, Consul General Hyde’s virtual visit to our region is not only a reaffirmation of the Special Relationship between Great Britain and the USA, but also important to the strengthening of the global connection our region enjoys at the heart of the North American supply chain,” says Matt Z. Ruszczak, RSTEC Executive Director.

“This is another example of collaboration and teamwork at play in the RGV,” says Nathan Burkhart, BCIC Director of Marketing & Small Business Development. “We first saw this with the emergence of our regional MPO, and we are now seeing more collaboration on the economic development side.”