The Mexican state of Queretaro is rapidly growing into a new hub for the aerospace industry, with dozens of multinationals setting up shop in the state’s industry zone making the most of generous subsidies offered by the government.
At the center of this growth is Queretaro Aerospace Cluster, whose clients include Safran, Airbus, Delta and Bombardier. Interestingly, British daily The Financial Times has recently named the state as one of the best places to do business in the Americas.
According to some reports, the aerospace sector accounts for nearly 50 percent of FDI flowing into Mexico. Proximity to the United States and low local crime rate all have contributed to this growth. Even the labor unions in the region are also less demanding, and they have not staged protests in the past 20 years.
“The state has also good educational performance (when compared to other areas inside Mexico). While the country faces huge challenges in terms of rule of law, Queretaro is seen as a relatively safe place,” says Harvard Business School in a report on Queretaro’s aerospace industry.
Armed with good highways, railways and an airport, Queretaro is doing everything it can to generate enough of a talent pool for the aerospace industry. Graduates looking for jobs enroll in in a six-week job training program at the country’s first Aeronautical University.
According to news channel KVUE, students have no need to pay for the tuition, because the state covers half the cost while aerospace companies cover the remaining half. According to reports from the local media, as many as 300 aerospace companies are operating in Mexico, creating more than 80,000 jobs.
The federal government is also investing a lot of money in Queretaro to support the growth of the industry. The state accounts for 31 percent of Mexico’s 2016 budget for infrastructure investment.
It does seem that the aerospace industry is transforming Queretaro. Analysts estimate that the state might post 6 percent GDP growth for the third quarter. Queretaro’s GDP expanded by 15 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, in the first and second quarters.