If you are looking to start up operations in Mexico, be sure to consider the state of Jalisco. Located in central-western Mexico, the state has a population of 7.9 million people and one of the country’s largest economies. In addition to being an ideal place for business and industry, it also offers a high standard of living thanks to its cosmopolitan cities, excellent climate, thriving economy, and wealth of cultural and tourist destinations to explore.
As home to multinational corporations in the high-tech, pharmaceutical and medical, electronics, telecom, automotive and manufacturing industries, among others, Jalisco has the 4th largest economy in the country with a GDP of US$73.8 billion. Jalisco is number one in Mexico for international trade, and in just the first half of 2019 attracted over one billion dollars in direct foreign investment. With a strong economy with a young and educated workforce, it is an attractive place for both foreign and national companies looking to expand.
Jalisco is also an ideal place for both nearshore and offshore manufacturing in Mexico due to its privileged location. The area has two international airports: the Puerto Vallarta Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport and the Guadalajara International Airport (officially known as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport). The Guadalajara airport receives 240 international cargo flights per month, with the highest cargo value in all of Mexico, and the 3rd largest in number of passengers. The state also offers easy access to the country’s railroad and highway infrastructure, as well as to its two largest seaports: Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas. These factors have enticed several of the world’s largest companies in the automotive industry Mexico to set up operations in the state, including Honda, Siemens, and Continental, where they employ over 28,593 people.
As the state with the most job training centers in Mexico and a labor force of 3.39 million people, companies can take advantage of Jalisco’s competitive labor costs and access to highly-skilled personnel. It has 13 world-class universities with technical and engineering programs and over 10,000 engineering students graduating each year (with around half of those specializing in high-tech fields). Several global technology companies, including Bosch, Oracle and Intel, have already established their research and development centers here.
In terms of Mexico industrial real estate, the state has 60 industrial parks, 2 tech districts, 1 multimedia park, 3 technology parks, 1 software center and 1 automotive park, in addition to a wide variety of corporate buildings and offices. In Jalisco you are sure to find the right space and facilities for all types of operations or industry, whether you are looking for a turnkey or build-to-suit project.
Jalisco offers many advantages for doing business, but what about quality of life?
The state of Jalisco, and especially its capital city of Guadalajara, the second-largest in Mexico, offer an almost endless array of options for not only essential services like housing and medical services, but also entertainment, cultural activities and dining. Founded in 1542, the city’s name comes from the Arab phrase wädi al-hiyara, loosely translated as a “river running over rocks” and has been affectionally nicknamed the Pearl of the West by visitors because of its beauty. The area is known internationally as the birthplace of tequila and mariachi, as well as its famous torta ahogada (drowned sandwich) and the special birote (savory bread) used to make it.
This geographically rich state is teeming with places to explore, including the international tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta. Not far from Puerto Vallarta are the virgin beaches of Costa Alegre, and if quaint mountain towns are more your speed, you can visit the state’s seven magical towns, including Tequila, San Sebastian del Oeste and Mazamitla. Only an an hour drive from Guadalajara is the lake and region of Chapala, which is home to approximately 20,000 expats mostly from the United States and Canada.
In addition, each year the state hosts an array of international cultural and business events and conferences, including the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the Guadalajara International Book Fair (the largest in all of Latin America), as well as business summits and industry expos of all types. Guadalajara’s eternal spring weather makes it attractive not only for cultural and trade shows and tourism, but also for visiting and exploring the city’s luxury shopping malls, 16 golf clubs, and numerous fine dining establishments.
As you can see, Jalisco is an attractive option for start up business in Mexico not only due to its ideal location and setting that has all the human and material resources you need for industry and manufacturing, but its gastronomic, cultural, historical and tourist attractions and diversity will also ensure a high quality of life and wellbeing with endless opportunities to fall in love with this place and its people. ¡Viva Jalisco!
By Marian Garibay, American Industries® Guadalajara Regional Director