Ana Cecilia Rodríguez
Minister
Economic Development and Labor of the State of Morelos
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View from the Top

Highlighting a Tourism, Agricultural and Industrial Calling

By Gabriela Mastache | Sat, 12/21/2019 - 10:05

Q: In which sectors does the Morelos’ government want to focus during the current administration?

A: There are four key economic sectors in Morelos: tourism, agri-industry, agricultural and manufacturing. We have strong players in the latter, such as Nissan and Saint-Gobain, as well as a significant percentage of SMEs in this sector. We are working on detecting what these players need and we have found that energy is among their major concerns. Energy costs in Morelos are exorbitant since it is one of the few states that does not produce energy. We need to see how we can support companies, considering the social impact this could have and analyzing how we can facilitate cost reductions. Our goal is to foster the use of green energies but we need concrete legislation and an institution that can oversee this.

 

The administration is just starting and we have developed different stages for the work we want to do. The first is to establish the structural foundation to foster investment. So far, we have dedicated ourselves to visiting the four industrial parks in the state, its technology park and the agri-industrial park to analyze the state they are in and determine what is needed. The state has 40 research centers that have done important work in technology development but we now need to commercialize that technology. We want these centers to become transversal technology generators for our four main industries.

 

For 2020, we expect to have all this initial analysis completed to start with public biddings and invite investors. This is a delicate subject because on the one hand, we need to incentivize foreign investment while on the other we need to take care of the local industry and businesses. We have been working hand in hand with business owners to support and help in the consolidation of those companies that are already in the state, while fostering new investments that can detonate new economic growth without harming local business.

 

Q: How will the administration work alongside local businesses and industries to foster innovation and technology transfer?

A: We have the opportunity to not only commercialize our technology developments but to generate technology-based companies. Our goal is to create around 72,000 jobs by 2024. We are trying to encourage technology entrepreneurship that can generate an added value to the local industry. Also, we are inviting companies that can act as mentors for all these new technology players. We are also working to incentivize graduates from local universities so they can become entrepreneurs and help in generating more employment.

 

Other steps include the creation of financing programs that can support technology transfer and local technology-based payment programs. The idea is to create a bond between academia, research centers, society and the business sector that can foster the creation of technology-based companies. We want these companies and research centers to detect a need and then develop the corresponding technology or product to address it.

 

Q: How is the administration working to communicate the competitive advantages of the state and continue attracting investment?

 A: We have two important competitive advantages. The first is the closeness we enjoy with Mexico City and our climate. We are not competing with Puebla nor with Queretaro. The idea is to highlight our calling and to see what we can do with it. We have chosen to boost our tourism calling, especially as a wedding destination and health services provider. We believe that our research centers, combined with our good climate, can lead us to specialize in geriatric health tourism.

 

We have also identified the state’s added value crops that can be transformed into an industry of their own, such as the ornamental plants industry. We need to continue growing our number of greenhouses for this purpose and at the same time generate more employment.

 

Q: Do you have any agenda in terms of boosting appellations of origin for local products?

A: In May 2018, legislators introduced a new concept called “Geographic Indication” that adds to the figure of denomination of origin and we already have an agenda in place to take advantage of it. We have identified three products that could obtain a geographic indication: rice, mezcal and cecina of Yecapixtla (salted beef). Instead of having a lot of products applying for this designation, we want to focus on these three products and their proper development.

 

RT: How is the state administration working with the federal government to improve regulatory processes for investing in the city and opening new businesses?

A: We are working alongside the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission and we have a collaboration agreement with 22 municipalities out of 36. This agreement means that municipal presidents agree to provide transparency in the requisites for businesses. The objective is to create a digital government. Maybe not all the paperwork will be managed digitally, but we hope to reduce the necessary steps for obtaining permits. We hope this can also help in reducing corruption.  

 

 

Ana Cecilia Rodríguez was Director of Intellectual Property, Services and Foreign Investment at the Ministry of Economy and Director of Commercialization and Agri-industrial Development at the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Morelos

Gabriela Mastache Gabriela Mastache Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst