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Global Access

“In the Cali Baja mega-region, we continue to strengthen our binational ties by working closely together to improve economic prosperity on both sides of the border. We’ve built that strong bond through the exchange of goods and we’re now seeing that expand to high-level services that cross the border thanks to the digital era we live in.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer
July 13, 2018

San Diego’s location on the West Coast and proximity to the Mexican border provides an attractive geographic position to expand trade with the Pacific Rim. With input and guidance from stakeholders throughout the bi-national region, World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) is driving the agenda to maximize San Diego’s economic competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement - leveraging our unique location and dynamic economy. The strategy works to accomplish three goals: drive job growth through expanding foreign direct investment and international exports, deepen economic ties between the bi-national region and strategic markets and enhance the region’s global identity to increase its global fluency and competitiveness.  

Contributing to San Diego's global efforts are the region's two international airports, offering direct access to global centers like London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Tokyo and Shanghai. Further increasing ease of access to our neighbors across the border, the end of 2015 brought with it the completion of the world's first cross-border airport terminal between San Diego and Tijuana. Continued investments in our infrastructure include an expansion of the airports and convention center, improvements to local highways, rail and transit systems, and the construction of new education and health centers. These investments are necessary to support the growing infrastructure network that is home to the busiest land border crossing in the world. 

To contextualize the importance of trade and international connectivity in our region, World Trade Center San Diego, with support from the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego, released “Trade and Competitiveness in North America” in July 2018.


  • San Diego’s top trading partners are Mexico and Canada, respectively. But San Diego’s exports to Mexico, at almost $6 billion per year, are five times its exports to Canada. This is in large part due to cross border production with Tijuana. One third of San Diego’s exports to Mexico are destined for neighboring Baja California.

  • The Unified Port of San Diego has outlined a strategic plan to balance their prominent import cargo with their export cargo. With increased infrastructure and strategic export planning, the Port is working to increase their volume and provide additional economic impact to the region.

  •  With construction set to wrap in 2021, the newly launched Mid-Coast Trolley project will extend service from Old Town Transit Center to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as the Mission Bay area, VA Medical Center, UC San Diego and Westfield UTC Transit Center. The project will provide an effective alternative to congested freeways and roadways for travelers and will result in fewer vehicle miles being traveled.

  • The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA) proactively works to increase global access to the San Diego market. Most recently, SDCRAA has added direct service to Frankfurt and Zurich. Not only does this increase San Diego’s opportunity to exchange passengers for business and tourism investments, but provides the region with increased cargo lift to and from the San Diego region.

  • Japan Airlines provides direct flights from San Diego to Narita, Japan, aboard the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. In 2010 alone, San Diego hosted 74 thousand visitors from Japan, and is the first direct flight between San Diego and the Asia-Pacific.

  • San Diego International Airport reached a new milestone, surpassing 20.7 million passengers in 2016 - up 3 percent from 2015.



CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 2,000 companies since 1985 and is widely regarded as the world’s most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of products.

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), created by Governor Jerry Brown, serves as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. 

San Diego Consular Corps

San Diego is host to twenty-five foreign consulates, each headed by a consular official who represents the interests here of his or her respective country. Some consulates issue visas and renew passports.  All consulates, in addition to the typical consular trade and commerce activities, are responsible for protecting the rights and privileges of that country’s nationals, and provide emergency assistance to travelers and others when needed.

San Diego International Airport

SAN has been named one of the safest airports in the country (Travel + Leisure magazine) and one of the best airports for business travel (Condé Nast Traveler). It is the busiest single-runway airport in the country with non-stop service to more than 50 destinations.

Tijuana Economic Development Corporation
The Tijuana Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit private organization, founded in 1989, dedicated to facilitating industrial operations and business opportunities within the Cali Baja binational mega-region. With a major focus on aerospace manufacturing, Tijuana EDC offers free consultation services on how to do business in Mexico and how to identify market opportunities in Tijuana.
U.S. Commercial Service

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets.