Interview: Juan Manuel Carreras López
To what extent will the Alianza Centro-Bajío-Occidente boost economic and social development?
JUAN MANUEL CARRERAS: The Bajío has become Mexico’s most competitive region, due largely to its business environment and attractiveness to investors. These are strengths that will be fostered by the 2019 alliance between Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí. The main goals of this initiative are to improve human development, reduce poverty, increase competitiveness and consolidate a sustainable connectivity development model that can serve as an example for the rest of the country. Furthermore, the initiative aims to boost security across the region. In this context, every project implemented under the umbrella of the Alianza Centro-Bajío-Occidente is expected to have a regional impact, boosting socio-economic growth for all the states within the alliance and making the broader region more attractive to investors.
How is the collaboration between academia, the private sector and public institutions increasing competitiveness and productivity?
CARRERAS: Productivity and competitiveness are strongly linked not only with the education system but with companies and private investment. Therefore, every initiative promoted by the state government must involve the private sector as well as public and educational institutions. Unified efforts can take productivity and competitiveness to the next level. For example, dual education allows any highly productive plant or project to attract, develop and retain young talent – something that is necessary in order to upgrade existing human resources skills and meet market demand. The San Luis Potosí Science, Technology and Innovation System, which is made up of higher education institutions, research centres, companies and public agencies, aims to restructure and boost training. It has created a framework that upholds competitiveness by taking advantage of the state’s excellent innovation and technology development. Additionally, clusters have been institutionalised, a move that has had a positive impact on strategic sectors in the state, such as the automotive and logistics industries.
Nevertheless, if the state hopes to keep up with the pace of global development and lead growth at the national level, it must fully incorporate the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s benefits, tools and progress across every sector, industry and segment. All necessary resources will be provided for that to happen.
What makes San Luis Potosí’s telecommunications infrastructure sufficiently competitive to foster the development of smart cities?
CARRERAS: The technologies used in San Luis Potosí significantly improve our economic competitiveness and quality of life. Infrastructure development is gradually allowing us to tackle sensitive and important issues such as security, urban mobility, water resources and digital inclusion, among others. For example, public security is being strengthened through the establishment of a cyber police force, command and communication centres interconnecting the four regions, and the new trust, control and monitoring centre. By taking advantage of the connectivity network and the strategic partnership with the private sector, San Luis Potosí has made substantial progress towards digital inclusion. It will be able to bring internet connection to more than 500 rural communities in the coming years. In addition, the Big Bandwidth Network will provide wireless internet to users in all hospitals in the metropolitan area that are connected to the network.
Furthermore, the state is working to improve the use of apps for public and private transportation, as well as focusing on sustainable energies and increasing the number of green mobility users. While there are a number of challenges ahead, the government is making strong efforts to establish the right conditions for both smart cities and smart citizens to flourish in the future.
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