Competitiveness

Vision of Competitiveness

Regional competitiveness, as envisioned by the 10 states’ decision makers during the consultation process that lead to the Strategic Guidelines document, is a transborder region capable of attracting and retaining firms with stable or rising markets shares, while maintaining stable or increasing standards of living for the people living in the region. Regional competitiveness in the transborder region entails various aspects, but the ten states’ consensus shows agreement on a set of fundamental dimensions.

Increasing competitiveness in the transborder region is tied to the existing transborder economic dynamics, which result from not only the comparative economic advantages offered by the region’s geographic characteristics but also the impetus stakeholders have provided to the region’s capacities with respect to production, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, and human capital, among other factors. The transborder region has displayed a marked economic dynamism that has resulted from the development of intensive commercial, industrial and human flows, and which has benefited not only from factors related to geographic proximity, but also from more broad-based economic processes, such as globalization and the involvement of wide-ranging global production networks.

The vision of future within the border states for the year 2030 is premised on:

  • Logistics corridors: The transborder region will be a space physically integrated by a network of highly efficient logistics corridors.
  • Labor productivity: Through innovation and collaboration within the educational system, the region will increase the qualification of its labor force to compete in the global economy.
  • Specialization and clusters: Through the use of resource-efficient and innovative business models, the region will create a highly specialized but networked economy.
  • Governance: The transborder region will develop a modern, stable, and promotion-minded institutional structure committed to enhancing comparative advantages and cooperation between government, businesses and citizens.
  • Knowledge: The region will become a space with a high degree of synergistic collaboration among higher education institutions and scientific research institutes, and between these and businesses.
  • Entrepreneurialism: The transborder region will benefit from an innovative, entrepreneurial population and a variety of knowledge-based economic activities.
  • Infrastructure: The region will develop a well-planned and well-designed communication and transportation infrastructure.
  • Quality of life: The region will offer a high quality of life to its residents, including world-class amenities.
  • Safety and security for everyone: The region will become a safe and secure space with a system of effective binational coordination.

Strategies for Competitiveness

The folloing are actions and tools identified as critical interventions to move on the vision for the transborder region toward the year 2030 .

Logistics and transportation systems

  1. Create a permanent binational task force for transborder mobility.
  2. Carry out an assessment of border infrastructure needs.
  3. Apply comprehensive logistics thinking toward the development of new plans.
  4. Promote investment in border infrastructure.
  5. Enhance staffing at border ports.
  6. Expedite permitting of new ports of entry.
  7. Situate new commercial crossing points outside of cities.
  8. Promote the start-up of binational public transportation between pairs of twin border cities.
  9. Significantly increase railroad transit across the border.
  10. Explore new border inspection systems.
  11. Consider joint management of ports of entry.
  12. Implement the Border Legislative Conference’s (BLC) innovative proposal for developing Secure Manufacturing Zones.
  13. Develop a coordinated network of “inland ports” along the main logistics corridors.
  14. On the U.S. side, it would be optimal for the White House to designate a point person to drive the interagency permitting process for ports of entry and to ensure quick resolutions.
  15. Diversify funding alternatives for infrastructure development.

New economic clusters

  1. Developing strategic plans in key cross-border regions to identify opportunities, create incentives for investment, and coordinate strategies.
  2. Efforts by the federal and state governments to harmonize standards could help to facilitate cross-border commerce and reduce de facto barriers to cross-border investment.

Educational partnerships

  1. Develop complementary educational curricula as a response to new opportunities from emerging sectors in the transborder economic corridors.
  2. Invest greater resources and creativity in planning cross-border opportunities for internships and coursework, as well as in binational degree programs.

BECC, NADB and border institutions

  1. Revitalize the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) to provide grants to local governments for projects that benefit low-income communities.
  2. NADB should require that proposed projects demonstrate environmental benefits by requiring broader environmental metrics.
  3. Encourage investments in environmental technology and renewable energy.
  4. Develop a more flexible concept of the geographic scope for BECC and NADB projects, by incorporating areas within clearly defined economic corridors.
  5. The NADB Board should seek additional capitalization along with a broadened mandate that would allow it to finance a broad range of border infrastructure needs.

Sustainable energy: cooperation and production

  1. Work out the differences in the legal frameworks, and design a model that can work with the Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to extend permits to develop renewable energy.
  2. U.S. states with aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) should accept electricity generated from renewable sources in Mexico to incentivize this binational market.
  3. Examine the possibility of developing additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.