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Guanajuato Aims to Strengthen Aerospace Manufacturing

By Alicia Arizpe | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 14:31

As part of its bet on high-technology manufacturing, Guanajuato is now looking to add value to the aerospace sector. The Aerospace Cluster of the Bajio (BJXAerospace) aims to support the state to take advantage of its existing capabilities to cater to the needs of the aerospace sector and continue promoting the state’s economic development.

For several years, Guanajuato has been highly invested in the development of its manufacturing capabilities. “Guanajuato is a pro-business state and we have defined clearly that our purpose is to be facilitators,” said Mauricio Usabiaga, Ministry of Economic Sustainable Development of Guanajuato. The state has gradually expanded its manufacturing prowess, which has resulted in the construction of over 50 industrial parks. Moreover, Guanajuato has over 2,000ha that can be readily adapted to the needs of manufacturing companies from anywhere in the world, explained Usabiaga. The state is also highly attractive to foreign manufacturers thanks to an economically active population of 2.6 million people. “We have enough population to support future growth, either in the manufacturing or mindfacturing (engineering and innovation) sectors,” says Usabiaga. Moreover, the state is in a strategic position in Mexico due to its connection to two of most the important highways in the country, an international airport and closeness to the airport and road infrastructure of other blooming manufacturing states: Morelia, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes.

While the state has bet mainly on specific niches such as the automotive industry, diversification through other highly technological sectors, such as the aerospace industry, can also support the economic development of the state and can be simplified thanks to the state’s connection to other regions with booming aerospace capabilities. “Northern Mexico and the Bajio region host important aerospace companies, especially in Queretaro and more recently Guanajuato,” said Salvador Magaña, CEO of PARQMEX Industrial Development.

At this point, Guanajuato’s aerospace cluster BJXAerospace has 17 aerospace companies that mainly focus on the development of software, explained Alejandro Arredondo, Director of BJXAerospace. Created in 2014, the cluster aims to bring together academia, research centers, laboratories, government institutions and businesses to support the development of a local aerospace industry and identify and cater to its needs. The cluster has made significant progress in the development of its local industry through several alliances, for instance with the Queretaro Aeronautic University (UNAQ), the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and Guanajuato’s State Training Institute (IECA), among many others.

In an interview with El Economista, Arredondo explained that although local companies were hurt by the COVID-19 outbreak, he expects the sector will recover by 2021 thanks to the long-term nature of the aerospace sector.

Alicia Arizpe Alicia Arizpe Senior Writer