Durango, a state of nearly 1.8 million people in central Mexico, has impressed fDi's Mexican States of the Future 2016/17 judges with its approach to and engagement with prospective investors. More than 60 people work in the state’s Ministry of Economic Development, attracting investors’ attention through a variety of commercial missions (that take place approximately two or three times a year), as well as at global fairs and expos in which the state participates.

The state offers a range of cost incentives as well as non-financial incentives, including training scholarships and soft-landing services, such as assistance with permits. Some major infrastructure developments are under way to entice investors and make doing business easier for them, including the construction of a new 1600-hectare industrial park just two kilometres from the state's airport, furnished with a multimodal train station and a customs office. A newly constructed super highway has also opened, connecting the city of Durango with the Pacific coast, via the port of Mazatlán, increasing the state's attractiveness for logistics and manufacturing operations. In July 2015, US-based Henniges Automotive announced it would establish a new plant in the state, stating that its strategic positioning in Durango would help to “expand the company’s global footprint”.

Advertisement

Nuevo León, which attracted the highest number of expansion projects of all Mexican states between 2011 and 2015, has ranked joint-second in FDI Strategy, thanks to an impressive submission from the state’s government. The state benefits from international co-operation agreements in place with other countries, which enable the development of local industries in both locations. The state also works to organise and embark upon foreign trade missions, leveraging its network with Mexican business offices abroad.

Nuevo León's government offers a range of incentives to prospective investors, including training and recruitment assistance, ensuring that incoming investors have trained staff for their operations. The state is considered a hub for education in the country and in Latin America as a whole, and three of its universities appeared in the 2015 Universidades de Mexico top 50 list published by Americaeconomia. A focus is also placed on the creation of clusters, to allow maximum integration of private sector, the government and academia to attract investors.

Guanajuato also ranked joint-second, following a submission from the state’s Secretariat of Economic Development. The state offers prospective investors assistance with site selection, as well as links with its academic institutions. Guanajuato boasts an industry-driven educational system, with 28 government training facilities in operation. In addition, the state provides help with the paperwork necessary for visas and other permits, while its one-stop-shop offering ensures that a company has a single point of contact to deal effectively with any issues that might arise in the course of an investment project.

The state’s government approaches and engages investors at a wide range of promotion events, including supplier fairs and international trade fairs, usually focused around the state’s target sectors of aerospace, automotive and renewable energies. According to data from fDi Markets, of all the investments made in Guanajuato between 2011 and 2015, 42% were in the automotive components sector, including investments from Japan-based Omron and India-based Bill Forge in the final months of 2015. The state also promotes itself in neighbouring US through a local investment office in Chicago.