The new consulate will issue matricula consular identification cards, which some commercial institutions accept when opening accounts. Bank of America, which has a branch next to the consulate, uses the cards as identification to open up checking accounts, as well as to send money orders to Mexico. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, represented Gov. Mike Beebe, when welcomed the consulate to Arkansas.
“I hope that as the result of the establishment of this consulate here, that Mexico will be competing with Canada to be the No. 1 trading partner with the state of Arkansas,” Halter said. “
Joel Anderson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, welcomed the consulate as its newest neighbor. The consulate sits across the street from the university’s campus.
“Welcome to Mexico,” Andres Chao Ebergenyl, Mexican Consul in Arkansas, said to the gleeful crowd.
American and Mexican officials of virtually all branches and levels of government, executives, local and foreign journalists, and others filled the room, making up a variety of individual talents and backgrounds that Chao noted in his brief address.
“This is precisely a clear example of what the consulate can generate: More Mexico in Arkansas, and more Arkansas in Mexico,” said Chao.
Describing the occasion as “a terrific day both for Little Rock, the central Arkansas community and the state of Arkansas,” Lt. Gov. Bill Halter said he hoped the consulate would help Mexico become the state’s No. 1 trading partner. (It’s currently Canada).
Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, said the ceremony comes as Mexico seeks to “deepen and widen our relationship with a vibrant, diverse and plural America.”
The ceremony included the signing of a sister-city agreement between Little Rock and Pachuca, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. On hand to sign the deal was Omar Fayad, that city’s mayor, and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.
“To be a great city, you’ve got to recognize that there’s certainly an international context,” Stodola said in an interview. “Having a consulate here recognizes that the world is getting much, much smaller, that we have very strong ties with the country of Mexico, and this will only create stronger ties.”
“I hope that as the result of the establishment of this consulate here, that Mexico will be competing with Canada to be the No. 1 trading partner with the state of Arkansas,” Halter said. “This will lead to tremendous opportunities for us to export our agricultural products and manufacturing products.”
Joel Anderson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said “a consulate is government at its best,” Anderson added, “it is government helping citizens directly.”