Omar Fayad, governor of Hidalgo
Strategic sectors in Hidalgo’s economic diversification drive
In this Global Platform video, Omar Fayad, governor of Hidalgo, talks about the state’s economic diversification strategy, which has involved comprehensive legislative reform, the promotion of public-private partnerships and an expansion of its sources of foreign investment. The government of Hidalgo has worked to improve the business ecosystem by prioritising the digitalisation of administrative processes, which will help to attract more investment in the state’s key growth sectors such as agro-industry, automotive, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and ICT.
Since I was very young I have been in public service, and I have also had the privilege of occupying almost all positions of political representation, and that has given me a vision.
I decided to build a series of alternatives to provoke profound change. In Hidalgo, five years ago, the most profound change, which has been sustained over many years, began with a series of public policies and actions that have determined our achievements to date.
We decided to create new economic development legislation, from the reform of the constitution, to all the laws. It is rated by the OECD as one of the best in Latin America and in developing countries across the world in the case of subnational states.
We decided to develop a series of public-private associations, or associations with the government.
We give them legal security; a one-stop-shop service that has worked perfectly well;
And adopted a policy of strengthening the telecommunications sector to align the actions of the federal government, the municipal governments and the state government so that they are encouraged to invest.
We have digitalised a good part of the processes that are of great interest to the private sector.
We made a fundamental choice from the beginning, and it was diversification. A large part of our economy only looked to the US because it is what is closest to us, and our first decision was to diversify.
Under this strategy we went out into the world to diversify – with Chinese investment, with Japanese investment. We went to South America for South American investment, to Canada for Canadian investment, and we went to Europe to bring in European investment.
The leader is agro-industry because of the agricultural vocation of the state.
We have been, for many years, in first or second place for barley production in Mexico, and what we did was support this sector; we are still the top producer of alfalfa.
What's more, we are already exporting it to Arab countries, to Saudi Arabia.
We did everything necessary to attract one of the most important investments – or perhaps the most important in the history of the state of Hidalgo – and managed to establish one of the two largest beer production plants in the world.
We also set our sights on the automotive sector, but not on the traditional one.
We gave a special boost to the electrical automotive industry.
We are the only place – not just in Mexico, but also in Latin America – to promoted the sector so successfully that today we have a company that has the entire range and all the product lines of vehicles across all segments.
We would like Hidalgo to be a pharmaceutical cluster. Looking ahead, I believe that we should focus on trying to attract companies that manufacture drugs, and we are very interested in companies involved in biotechnology.
We want to establish ourselves as the main renewable energy cluster in central Mexico, and I believe that we already are in solar energy.
We also want to attract all the technology companies. We want ICT companies to establish themselves here. For that we are creating a district for all companies engaged in software development, system development, new technology development, nanosatellite production, chip production.
We have the best and most significant technological integration in all of Mexico and Latin America. Here we are at the C5I facilities. It is the most sophisticated control, computing, communications, coordination and intelligence centre in Mexico and Latin America.
We use the big data system that you can see here, and I believe that we are one of the few states that has established a 300-km fibre-optic network and a microwave network that covers the entire state to provide the necessary internet infrastructure, because we have great video system surveillance with more than 12,000 cameras that are connected – 6000 from the public sector and the other 6000 from the private sector.
We have achieved more than MXN68bn of investment, which places us as the state government with the highest national and local foreign private investment in 150 years of history.
We were the state that, even in a pandemic, managed to attract MXN4bn of foreign investment for the development of the state itself and for the creation of jobs.