Queretaro Built by Local CompaniesThu, 01/11/2018 - 10:05
For a state to accelerate its economic growth, it must prioritize public works and real estate, says Alejandra Vega, President of CMIC Queretaro, pointing to the impact on construction in Queretaro as an example. “Queretaro has experienced fast growth in terms of infrastructure development in the last few years and because of that dynamism, we expect the construction sector to grow 8 percent by the end of 2018,” she says.
Manufacturing, automotive and aerospace companies are settling in Queretaro’s industrial areas, creating magnets for employment. This, in turn, has encouraged the construction of university facilities, housing and commercial developments offering services and entertainment. CMIC Queretaro is the Queretaro branch of the Mexican Construction Chamber, representing the interests and needs of the construction sector before the government.
In the last 15 years, Queretaro has grown 29 percent and according to CONAVI, by 2021 the state of Queretaro will have more than 2.18 million inhabitants, of which 1.32 million will live within the metropolitan area. As urban sprawl expands throughout the Queretaro territory, the demand for more public infrastructure has also increased. “Although 70 percent of construction activity is from the private sector and 30 percent from public works, the government announced a historic investment in public infrastructure of MX$19 billion for 2018. We believe that the industry will grow drastically with this investment,” says Vega.
She highlights that the state of Queretaro has already made great advances in the improvement and construction of basic services, such as water, waste management and energy infrastructure. To keep up with the fast pace of urbanization, Vega says the state will need to develop more transport and social infrastructure, and quickly. “CMIC Queretaro has proposed the creation of a Project Bank for medium and long-term development. This will allow the government to be more efficient when managing its resources for public projects, as well as ensuring the continuity of projects,” she adds.
The Queretaro Metropolitan Area is composed of various municipalities so Vega says to create optimal projects, it is crucial that local, state and federal governments create synergies. “The current administration has increased its investment in public works each year. This means that the local and federal governments have been working closely to make the best of their resources,” she says. “We expect to see the same thing with AMLO’s administration.” To boost investment from the private sector, the government has sent trade delegations to other countries to attract investment into various industries, including automotive. “The synergy created by not only the different levels of government but also the private sector has detonated investment in the state,” she says.
Promoting self-sufficiency would increase the value of Queretaro’s construction sector, Vega says. “Creating synergies between governments helps create a solid plan throughout the state but creating synergies between companies and the supply chain will create quality projects,” she says. CMIC Queretaro has entered strategic alliances with 40 material suppliers and various financial institutions to establish more credit lines and access to better product pricing for projects. This allows the chamber to offer financing for large projects and a competitive advantage to the companies that are affiliated with the chamber.
The sector has seen an increase in new SMEs and to ensure they remain competitive in the eyes of new investment, CMIC has developed a program to train its local affiliates and incentivizes companies to invest in training by rewarding those that accumulate the most training man-hours. “Whenever we have a project, we promote the companies that invest the most in training,” says Vega.
CMIC Queretaro believes that beyond learning technical skills, construction workers should give back to their communities. The chamber is working with its affiliates to improve and renovate public-school lunch areas. “We want to form a construction sector that is not only competitive but that is also socially responsible,” Vega says.