Q: fDi has identified Hermosillo as a 'city of the future' in our American rankings. Why do you think that’s appropriate? What do you feel makes it a city that is competitive for investment?

A: The main things that make it a city of the future are the fact that we have very good infrastructure and a very high quality of life. We have plenty of human resources and a decent labour force, which is very important. In terms of quality of life, we are one of the safest cities. Hermosillo is attractive because we exercise good cost effectiveness and a strategy of promotion. We have a lot to offer people who invest here.

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Inflation is going down. This year it is going to be 3.5%, compared with last year’s 5.6%. Sonora state is growing; it was the largest growing state in Mexico last year. We are hoping that will continue – we are going to have $400m of investment in Hermosillo in 2011.

We have a lot of young people. There are 10 universities in Hermosillo and a lot of the professionals that come out of those universities are qualified to work in [various types of] businesses. The labour force here is very good, for example, the labour from the Hermosillo Ford plant was rated as the best quality labour in the whole of the [companies' North American operations]. We also have the capability to offer plenty of other things to those who choose to invest here and this is a huge advantage for us. 

Q: You mentioned the issue of safety and this is one of the current problems in terms of the perception of Mexico – Americans in particular express concern about this. Do you think that is an unfair perception?

A: It’s different depending on where you are. Mexico is a big republic. Hermosillo is in the northwest of the country and we share a border with Arizona. Our state, Sonora, is the safest in Mexico. If you visit Hermosillo, you can walk the streets at any time. In terms of investment, it is also a very safe place, which is why it is attractive to investors.

Q: Does the city get much tourism?

A: Yes, we do have a lot of tourism here. There are very nice beaches close to Hermosillo. We also have ranches that attract plenty of visitors. People here are very warm and hospitable. We like to have visitors and we also have good gastronomy and good restaurants.

Q: You mentioned Ford's production facility in Hermosillo – is auto manufacturing a big sector for the local economy?

A: Yes, it is a very important sector because everything that we produce is exported to the US and Canada. The plant in Hermosillo is big, it has around 5000 employees. We also have the maquiladora industry here [factories where foreign parts are shipped in and assembled at a cheaper cost, and the finished product is then shipped back]. It’s very important for us as it creates a lot of employment. We are also fortunate that we don’t have any labour issues with the unions. They work well with the enterprises.

We also do a lot of business in the high technology and software sector. This is a very attractive industry and we have a lot of it. We have a new call centre in Hermosillo and this sector is very important to us because it is a new business here, one that we are hoping to develop and grow.