In this Global Platform video, Omar Fayad, the governor of Hidalgo, and César Hernández, commissioner of the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement, talk about the strengths of state – such as its high level of security and convenient proximity to some of Mexico's largest markets – and how these characteristics are being leveraged to propel further economic development. A new investment promotion strategy, public-private partnerships and diversification efforts are all helping to make the State of Hidalgo one of Mexico's most important industrial hubs.
Omar Fayad: We have very important pillars, such as our privileged geographical location. We are 60 km from the largest, if not one of the largest, markets in the world. We have north-south, east-west connectivity. We connect to the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. Mexico is going to have new airports. The international airport in Santa Lucia is, let's say, the closest point that the Hidalgo state could have. It is practically the state of Hidalgo. Hidalgo will have its own airport that will be integrated into the airport system, as announced by the president of the republic.
A Safer State
Our rates of violence and crime are lower. Seeing the centre of Mexico is experiencing challenges with violence and crime, Hidalgo is a haven for security. We are in the top-10 the states with the least violence in Mexico, we are even comparable with California or New York. We currently have a new video surveillance system with 5000 cameras, but we will have 10,000 security cameras that will be connected to a new high-tech control centre, for the safety of people and for business security; The control, command, communications, computation and coordination will be the most sophisticated in Latin America.
From 2016 to 2019 the investment has grown by approximately 160% – 50bn pesos of investment in 29 months is a record figure. You are talking about more than $2.5m that is generating more jobs. We want to continue providing a single window to the investor. Here, you don’t have to deal with 12 secretariats of state to get building permits, just a single window that solves all the problems.
Diversify the economy.
Today, the investments that are landing are Asian, they are from Canada, they are European, they are from South America even. Within the strategic sectors of Hidalgo, development is obviously centred on the energy sector. We are already bringing investments of approximately $1bn in renewable energy and clean energy. We are establishing the necessary mechanisms so that Hidalgo can become a national reference for the manufacturing of electric cars. JAC Motors is already in manufacturing the prototypes of the first electric cars that will be produced in Hidalgo and sold in the country.
The future is in agri-business and in the pharmaceutical industry. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Mexico – Farmacias Guadalajara – will be here in Hidalgo. We already have many success stories, the main being the 15bn pesos for the establishment of the world's largest beer-producing plant in Hidalgo. It took no more than 364 days from the conception of the plant until it was put into operation. That is going to place us, perhaps, as one of the states with the highest level of beer exportation in the world.
To try to shield that situation, we made new legal regulations to have less regulatory ties so that investments can be made. The efforts that we are making in the matter of regulation have already received recognition – the National Observatory has placed us first.
Cesar Hernandez: Hidalgo is a very interesting state because it has had an investment promotion strategy and a generation of secure legal conditions for investors that is based largely on the regulatory reform that stipulates a licence to operate a company must be granted in 36 hours. The first state that successfully gendered the regulation at the municipal level to generate this favourable business environment for the deployment of communication networks was Hidalgo. One of the largest telecommunications companies in Mexico committed significant investments in the state of Hidalgo.
I believe investors should have great confidence that the state of Hidalgo has adopted regulatory improvement disciplines that are advanced with respect to the rest of the federal entities of Mexico.
Omar Fayad: We already already legislated for more than 10 public-private partnerships. The OECD is studying Hidalgo, is making recommendations for Hidalgo and they point to us as an example of policy success in economic regulation. Hidalgo, from 2016 to 2019, has managed to improve its rating against Standard & Poor’s Global and Fitch ratings. We managed for the first time in 30 years to move from negative scores to stable scores.