Cecilia Sánchez Ávila
Director General
Parque Tres Naciones
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Insight

San Luis Potosi´s First Industrial Park Nearing Full Capacity

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:27

Parque Tres Naciones was the first industrial park to be established in the state of San Luis Potosi at a time when industrial activity was concentrated in the north and development in the central regions was in its infancy. The park, which is located along Highway 57, welcomed Daimler as one of the first companies to establish a presence in the park, where it now has a national distribution center. “When Daimler arrived to San Luis Potosi there was nothing here, it really saw the potential of the location,” explains the park’s Director General, Cecilia Sánchez Ávila. “Demand has risen so steeply that industrial land availability is now limited. Expansion space is available, but the park has just ten units for lease and built-to-suit projects remaining. Some 48% of the park’s tenants are active in the automotive industry, and come from Asia, Europe and the Americas.”

“The park offers full infrastructure, including natural gas delivery, electricity, pressurized water systems, and security,” says Sánchez Ávila. Security remains a concern for foreign companies coming to Mexico, and four guarded entrances and a force of 38 security guards on site provide security at all times. Sánchez Ávila maintains that one of the biggest incentives for companies establishing in San Luis Potosi is quite simple: the weather, which plays a large role in construction costs. “San Luis Potosi does not have hurricanes, volcanoes, or earthquakes, and the soil is hard which is good for construction. There is also little humidity, which is particularly good for the automotive industry since it safeguards against component erosion. With no air conditioning or heating needed, the area also offers significant long-term savings on energy.” Keen to create a sustainable and self-sufficient operating environment, Sánchez Ávila explains that the park has implemented environmentally sound development measures. “From the outset we had high environmental standards, and we are continuously updating our standards to comply with new environmental laws and requirements,” says Sánchez Ávila. The park has even gone so far as to reject companies that cannot meet internal environmental regulations, which must be complied with by all tenants. Tres Naciones has its own closed water circuit, water well, and treatment plant, and each company is required to use 20% of its space as green areas irrigated with treated water. The park’s emissions are also reduced through collective transportation measures for workers. Major transportation companies, including TUM, FedEx, and Estafeta, work together in the park to provide multi-client single container transportation solutions for tenants. Multimodal transportation, railway services, and customs support is also available. “Even though we do not have customs offices on site, this is located right beside us, so customs come to the companies here and seal containers, which are not opened until they arrive to the final destination,” explains Sánchez Ávila. San Luis Potosi’s long manufacturing history has made its human capital factor strong. Demand continues to grow, with Sánchez Ávila expecting that the number people working within Tres Naciones will increase from 13,000 to 20,000 in the coming years. Sánchez Ávila explains that Tres Naciones works very closely with the government and other industrial parks. The park also offers economic assistance to students who struggle to afford the four-year degree programs needed to enter the skilled parts of the manufacturing industry, while a number of students also gain work experience on site. “Ten years ago, the government and the population of San Luis Potosi were complaining about the levels of unemployment for graduates, and companies in turn were complaining about the lack of experience and specialization of graduates. We saw that the needs of both were not aligned, so we cooperated with the companies and the universities and devised new criteria to be implemented in the courses,” says Sánchez Ávila.

This multilateral approach should make 2014 a good year for the park. It is working closely with ProMéxico to come up with the best strategy for growth. Sánchez Ávila remembers that when Tres Naciones started, the state was not usually considered as an investment for FDI, but it has now been put on the map, in no small part thanks to the park.