08 Mayo 2015
Mexico is one of the longest democratic political systems in Latin America. It has one of the highest gross domestic product per capita but also suffers from chronic low productivity. Queretaro, a state in the central region, shares a similar competitiveness profile as Mexico. But it benefits from a much safer environment, low perceived corruption, and a growing specialized education. The state hosts a high-performing manufacturing industry spurred by an active local government, abundant natural resources (oil, metals, minerals) and skilled labor force. The aerospace cluster is a promising cluster for Mexico with more than 200 firms in 18 states. Queretaro hosts one of the most advanced clusters in the country. Aerospace exports have been growing, particularly for assembly operations.
The cluster has a strong position in the engines subcluster and is developing its aerospace and defense sub-cluster. However, it faces fierce competition from domestic clusters. Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon clusters are closer to the U.S. border and hold a comparative cost advantage. To compensate for this, Queretaro’s current value proposition is offering heavy subsidies to large firms; providing a comprehensive set of training programs at the country’s first Aeronautic University (UNAQ); and keeping labor costs under control.
These measures only lower production costs but do not make the cluster competitive. To scale up its productivity, we recommend the following policies:
(i) aggressively brand the state as a talent hub to attract skilled labor force at higher levels;
(ii) condition subsidies on the development of local suppliers;
(iii) set a consistent national demand and supply strategy to leverage the purchasing power of the government with the production capacity of firms;
(iv) cut the process, time, and prices of contract enactment;
(v) expand airport capacity and reach to reduce transportation costs;
(vi) complement the production capability of nearby states; and
(vii) include a design and development program in the UNAQ’s curriculum of UNAQ tap into the growing market of composite products.
JOSE LYRA (BRAZIL)
JUANMANUEL GARCIA-SANCHEZ (PERU/U.S.)
LILIANA OLARTE (COLOMBIA)
PEDRO RANGEL (MEXICO)
RODRIGO QUINTANA (NICARAGUA)