Interview : Omar Fayad Meneses
How could regulatory reforms make Hidalgo more attractive to foreign investors?
OMAR FAYAD: The improvements that can be made in this regard are numerous, and Hidalgo has already embarked upon the path of regulatory reform. We are planning a wide-ranging constitutional and legal reform that will ultimately create a comprehensive new set of laws and, more importantly, modern state legislation. These measures will help to attract investment by removing obsolete procedures centred on excess bureaucracy, regularising the legal framework and boosting the ease of doing business. Although this is just the first step, it is a critical one that will lay the groundwork for Hidalgo to become a more attractive and competitive state.
Additionally, we have to take more steps to combat bad business practices linked to corruption. We have constructed one of the most advanced anti-corruption systems in the world thanks to our constitutional reform and the secondary laws associated with it. We are implementing mechanisms that will facilitate business growth in multiple facets and are removing obstacles to investment. The primary objective is to assure the investor that they are dealing with a government that is serious about putting an end to corruption and is committed to boosting transparency in business practices in both the public and private sectors.
What diversification efforts are in place to attract new strategic sectors?
FAYAD: Although Hidalgo has a strong industrial heritage in a number of sectors such as mining and textiles, in order to diversify and add value to the economy, there are four sectors that are of strategic interest towards ensuring Hidalgo’s economy becomes one of the most advanced in Mexico. These are sustainable mobility, agro-industry, renewable energy and the pharmachemical sector. These sectors have high added value, allowing us greater ease of access to global value chains as they involve the production of goods that are in constant demand globally, such as electric cars, foodstuffs, power and medicine.
This focused economic development strategy will also protect the state from external shocks and, in addition, is well-suited to supplement Hidalgo’s existing qualities in terms of supply chain, human capital and geographical location. We have a final strategic sector – services – which is all-encompassing, complimentary and relevant for all other aspects of the economy.
What types of collaborations are taking place between Hidalgo and neighbouring states?
FAYAD: Hidalgo has a very good relationship with all of the surrounding states, independent of the political affiliation of their government. Because of our location in the megalopolis, the urban agglomeration of Greater Mexico City, we collaborate with neighbouring states on a number of infrastructure projects, sharing plans, tenders and resources so that all citizens of Mexico can benefit. Two examples of such projects are the expansion of the motorway from Pachuca to Mexico City, and the construction of the Arco Norte motorway that connects Hidalgo to the industrial Bajío region, as well as to the coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
Building transport infrastructure is not the only area of collaboration between the different governments; neighbouring states are also working together on improving security. There is intelligence sharing between our respective ministries of security, including, but not limited to, the coordinated monitoring of all of the major roads connecting our largest towns and cities. This is done through a comprehensive network of intelligent roadways, each of which have electronic monitoring systems that can track the movements of specific vehicles.
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