SLP: Security, Economic Growth are Tasks for Every GovernmentBy Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 05/28/2020 - 17:49
Q: What have been your main achievements and how has the economic panorama changed in San Luis Potosi?
A: Regarding government achievements, we have healthy public finances. We have worked to fix our accounts, reducing debt while reaching our targets in health and education. The state owed more than MX$5 billion (US$253 million) to education and we have halved that. We also have the best public health system according to the federal Ministry of Health. In addition, we redesigned our government structure to increase transparency. There has been strict control of government salaries, which have been reduced around 30 percent. We also created the state’s General Prosecution Office, which works hand-in-hand with the state’s anticorruption system.
In terms of governability and security, we have maintained a good relationship with the president, our local congress and municipal authorities to collaborate and strengthen our capacities. Today, we are below the national average regarding security issues. We are creating a metropolitan state force, as well as a command, control, computing, communications and contact center for the police. Poverty has also been reduced considerably over the past four years. It is the first time extreme, moderate and general poverty have been reduced in the state at the same time, benefiting more than 100,000 people. Regarding sustainability, we are moving from two parks to a network of parks, including spaces for conservation, recreation and research. We have advanced in water treatments and alternative energies as a result of having received more investment.
Economic development is the synthesis of all these different aspects. The manufacturing sector has enjoyed four years of sustainable growth. This is strongly linked to the automotive sector. With two OEMs and a vast supplier base, San Luis Potosi is thriving as an automotive hub, unleashing a domino effect that is touching the agricultural, tourism and service sectors. This provides sustainable growth that doubles the national average, which leads to many formal jobs and better salaries.
Q: How are anticorruption and fiscal responsibility in San Luis Potosi related to the federal government’s policies?
A: At the state level, there is room for improving public finances by increasing your income, cutting expenses and setting priorities. In the midterm, this gives enough flexibility to increase investment expenditure while decreasing operational costs. Regarding anticorruption policies, local governments have to do their work to send a positive signal to potential investors.
Q: What do you need to do to ensure sustainable economic and social growth?
A: Our priorities should be mobility and workforce. We have to be able to attract people to San Luis Potosi who want to work. Economic dynamism implies being an attractive locale for potential employees. As for mobility, growth implies the challenge of how people move from place to place. Past solutions are not feasible today, so the government’s role is to improve this process.
We need to create policies that reverse migrant fluctuations by informing everyone who is interested that they can come and work here. They need to know they can get a job, and be employed in a working environment that trusts their skills. In automotive terms, we want to keep pressing the accelerator.
Q: What projects do you want to develop before 2021 to ensure continuity across state administrations?
A: In the long term, mobility projects linked to sustainability are key. We want development but not at the expense of our natural resources. We have to adhere to a vision of balance. The most relevant aspect for the state’s capital is mobility. We have an understanding with the mayor to find answers for the city’s accelerated growth. Of course, health and education must be part of that effort. Without education, no government could keep up with the expected growth.
Q: How will cooperation in the Bajio impact San Luis Potosi’s development?
A: We are a region and investments do not recognize state limits. They want to see efforts to coordinate an industrial effort. By being complementary, we can create valuable strengths for the country in the manufacturing, automotive and aerospace sectors. We all have the responsibility to deliver to our citizens.
Juan Manuel Carreras was elected Governor of San Luis Potosi in 2015. During his time in office, investments in the state have reached US$8 billion across different industries, with BMW and 235 automotive suppliers among the most relevant