Enrique Alfaro
Governor Of The State Of Jalisco
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Insight

National Positioning Through Social Empowerment

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:02

The previous state administration referred to Jalisco as an agri-food giant. I do not believe that designation is correct. Rather, Jalisco is positioned nationally as an industrial hub due to the level of investment we have attracted in the agroindustry, innovation and technology segments. Despite the state’s growth, it would be false to say the economic policies implemented in the past have been a success. Jalisco still has 2.5 million people living in poverty. Around 40 percent of the state’s population receives an income below the welfare line and half the population does not have social security. Moreover, almost 61 percent of the employed population earns an income equal to or less than three times the minimum wage. Unfortunately, the situation is even more dire among the rural population; 87 percent of the rural population receives less than three times the minimum wage and around 90 percent of those who work in the agricultural sector have neither a pension nor access to a dignified retirement. Given these conditions, we cannot say that Jalisco is an agri-food giant.
It is clear that the strategies implemented by previous administrations have not resulted in the conditions needed to reduce the inequality gap. Although we recognize that important steps have been taken, it is necessary to consolidate Jalisco’s leadership beyond employment generation and exports. We also need to increase the population’s income level. Our administration seeks to generate economic development through regional specialization. This means that we will take advantage of the strengths and opportunities offered by Jalisco’s different regions to foster sustainable development that first and foremost benefits our population. As the new state government, we take this commitment very seriously.
The agroindustry will ignite economic activity in the agricultural regions of the state. Paradoxically, although this industry is considered an engine for economic growth, the living conditions of those in the sector have not improved. We must reverse this situation. We cannot continue to foster an agricultural sector that generates significant wealth but at the same time delivers poverty to those who work in it. Jalisco should not be an agri-food giant that condemns its citizens to poverty or migration.
According to our most recent data, the agri-industrial sector in the state hosts 12,529 economic units. Of this total, 11,773 are microbusinesses while 529 are small businesses. These are the two areas we will focus on strengthening. One strategy we are already implementing is to provide municipalities with machinery that will enhance agricultural productivity. This equipment will be used to maintain roads between crops, construct troughs and dredge rivers. The machinery will also allow municipalities to deal with damage generated by natural disasters like storms, floods or fires.
Our commitment to Jalisco’s agricultural sector is clear: we want it to continue growing. We want Jalisco to maintain its productive leadership in the country but we want to do it by putting farmers front and center so we can help elevate their quality of life. Our strategy is to position Jalisco as the national leader in economic value and social contributions through the development of strategic production chains. These will take advantage of our regionalization strategy and our local talent, benefiting the entire population. Throughout, we will maintain a responsible and sustainable focus.
Overall, our modus operandi will be based on two pillars: the strengthening of, and respect for, the rule of law and the improvement of physical and digital infrastructure. We also will base our economic development on processes that improve the state’s regulations, sustainability and social responsibility, while also implementing an integral educational project. For the state, is important to take into consideration the strengths and opportunities in each region to generate a focused educational program. The proposition will be complemented with strategies for regional development and the internal strengthening of the state’s capabilities. Ultimately, our strategy will attract greater investment, help to integrate the labor sector into the overall growth strategy and strengthen the state’s SMEs and the use of innovation, science and technology development as engines of Jalisco’s economy.