Trade between New Mexico and Mexico could hit a record level this year, according to The Alburquerque Journal News.

New Mexico exports to Mexico could jump past $700 million for the first time, the newspaper said.

“Exports jumped 20 percent in the first six months of this year, from $310.4 million in 2012 to $372.3 million,” the newspaper reported, citing data from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Foreign Trade Division. “That follows a 33 percent jump in exports for all of 2012, when shipments to Mexico reached a record $617.6 million.”

Jerry Pacheco, executive director of the International Business Accelerator, is quoted in the newspaper as saying that the upward trend in exports is likely to remain.

“More than 50 percent of our exports to Mexico are originating from southern Doña Ana County, where companies are expanding and new ones are moving in,” he said. “There’s a lot of momentum here at the border, and it’s having a direct impact on exports.”

Among key factors cited for the boom in trade are Mexico’s maquila industry, and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s efforts to encourage trade with U.S.’ southern neighbor.

The governor reached a trade agreement last year with officials of the Mexican state of Chihuahua to bolster economic ties, the publication said.

The two are building an infrastructure along the border.

“Now, with Union Pacific Railroad constructing a massive intermodal transshipment terminal and locomotive fueling station at Santa Teresa, exports are expected to grow even faster in the future,” said the Journal.

“I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet,” Pacheco said. “Once the Union Pacific terminal opens, I think we’ll see our exports grow like crazy.”

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