Nearshoring drives promising industrial growth in Tijuana

By Sandra Cervantes

Baja California

May 30, 2023

In the last decade, Tijuana has attracted more than 8 billion dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) and this trend could continue in the coming years, driven by the new movement of nearshoring, indicated Ernesto Bravo, president of TECMA Oeste , one of the most important shelters in the region.

The manager pointed out that, for decades, Tijuana has been a manufacturing center where companies from all over the world established operations for the US market. “The availability of skilled labor, as well as its proximity to the United States, make this city more attractive for new investments,” he noted.

And it is that Tijuana has several industries that manufacture different products for the US market, from vans and electronic products, to medical devices and parts related to the aerospace industry.

In fact, Ernesto Bravo said, in 2022 the city registered 595 active companies, the largest number of facilities in Mexico, where the aerospace, electronics and medical device industries account for more than a third of these manufacturing sites.

In addition, 259,641 skilled employees work at these manufacturing sites and unemployment is less than 3%, coupled with the fact that the city has adopted the dual education system, with a large number of engineers and bachelor's degree graduates, most of them partially bilingual.

Aerospace, electronics and medical device industry in Tijuana

The TECMA executive added that more than 55 aerospace and defense companies operate in Tijuana, including Honeywell, ICON and Gulfstream , being an industry that employs more than 28,000 people. 

Some of the products they manufacture include cabin interiors, components for landing systems, audio and video systems, airframe parts, aircraft composite structures, and machining and metal turbine parts, while some companies offer MRO services.

Another dynamic industry in Tijuana, Bravo stressed, is the manufacturing and assembly of electronic products. 

This industry has about 122 active companies in the city, including Samsung Electronics, Eaton, and Jabil , which employ approximately 100,000 people. 

“From printed circuit boards, televisions and cell phones to components for the aerospace, medical device and automotive industries, this industry offers a wide variety of products made in Tijuana,” he highlighted.

On the other hand, he specified that the medical device industry is made up of 44 companies, including Medtronic, employing more than 42,000 people. 

The director of TECMA Oeste said that medical device companies in Tijuana manufacture a wide variety of products that include technology and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, orthopedic devices, medical instruments, pre-filled syringes, hypodermic products, surgical kits, and wound care products . , among others.

Why do companies choose to invest in Tijuana?

Many industrial facilities have international accreditations and comply with global quality and safety standards, said the manager, so companies will find first-class facilities with FDA , CE and ISO 13485 certification, as well as unique processing plants that offer clean rooms ranging from Class 100 to 100,000.

“All this industrial activity has made Tijuana an essential part of the global supply chain, therefore more companies are setting up operations here to avoid the logistical struggles of overseas production in Asia,” he argued.

In this way, the new wave of nearshoring- related expansions is driving the huge demand for industrial space. In this regard, Ernesto Bravo explained that last year Asian companies drove most of this growth, mainly from South Korea and China, and that more expansions and new operations are on the way.

In order to accommodate this growth, real estate developers have around 5.3 million square feet of industrial space under construction, according to data from Tijuana Economic and Industrial Development (Deitac). These developments represent an investment of 635 million dollars, made by 17 real estate developers.

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