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News about The Nemex Region

Lunes 11 de julio de 2005. Núm. 283   

Welcome to the neighborhood




If these 10 states were a single country, they would have the world’s third largest economy


Verónica Sandoval 


Think of it as a neighborhood committee. Just that it’s kind of a big neighborhood with some pretty major issues to deal with. Created in 1980, the Border Governors Conference was conceived as a means to create a workable and effective forum to discuss the major issues confronting the 10 states that share the U.S.-Mexican border. It’s an annual event that lasts just two days. But - in between the photo sessions and speeches – enough concerns get put on the table and opportunities are identified to create a sizable work agenda for the following 12 months. Discussions have covered everything from how to cooperate in agricultural pest control to lobbying federal authorities to speed up border crossings. Priorities vary year to year, but over the course of the last quarter century the mainstays on the agenda have been the environment, security, water, trade and economic development. Another perennial favorite is the challenge of dealing with Washington and Mexico City, where many federal agencies often neither understand nor place a particularly high value on the concerns of the border states. The importance and scope of the subjects up for discussion are reflected in the size and economic power of the region itself. We are talking about a veritable giant. “If you add together the gross domestic product of these 10 states, you would have the world’s third largest economy; that’s how big the border region is,” points out Enrique Martinez y Martinez, Coahuila’s governor and this year’s president of the Border Governors Conference. The 1,220 square miles (3,150 km2) of Mexico’s six northern states represent 40% of the nation’s total territory, and are home to about 16 million people, or 15% of the total population. Together, these states produce almost a quarter of the country’s GDP (in reality, even more, taking into account the fact that a good part of the region’s productivity is accredited to Mexico City, where many of the plants based in the north have their administrative offices). This regional contribution to the national GDP is proportionally very similar to that of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which comes in at 23% of the U.S. GDP. These four states represent 18% of the nation’s territory and 22% of the population, with more than 65 million inhabitants. These six northern Mexico states and four southwestern U.S. states share what is unquestionably one of the Planet’s most dynamic and important borders, with more than 100 million crossings per year and cross-border trade valued at more than 250 billion dollars in 2004. Trade has, of course, always been a major topic on the table, especially since the conception of NAFTA and its signing in 1993. Now a new opportunity has emerged. In recent years the Conference’s meeting rooms and lunch meetings have been abuzz with the enormous potential for economic growth through cooperative regional development. The consensus is that success is no longer an issue of an individual company’s ability to compete against the world on its own, but rather an industry cluster’s ability to make a go of it on the world’s markets as a group. This belief in the potential for regional economic development and cooperation is reflected in a growing number of cross border agreements, such as the signing last year by Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas of a Joint Regional Progress agreement.    • THE MEETINGS

I.- Juarez, Chihuahua - June 26-27, 1980 II.- El Paso, Texas - October 5-6, 1981 III.- Tijuana, Baja California - September 19-20, 1982 IV.- Tucson, Arizona - July 23-24, 1984 V.- Not held VI.- Las Cruces, New Mexico - December 10-11, 1987 VII.- Saltillo, Coahuila - February 16-17, 1989 VIII.- Austin, Texas - March 29-30,1990 IX.- Hermosillo, Sonora - February 21- 22, 1991 X.- San Diego, California - April 2-3, 1992 XI.- Monterrey, Nuevo Leon - April, 22-23, 1993 XII.- Phoenix, Arizona - May 25-27, 1994 XIII.- Not held (1995) XIV.- Santa Fe, New Mexico - May 31, 1996 XV.- Saltillo, Coahuila - June 6, 1997 XVI.- Brownsville, Texas - June 25-26, 1998 XVII.- Tijuana, Baja California - September 9-10, 1999 XVIII.- Sacramento, California - June 1-2, 2000 XIX.- Tampico, Tampaulipas - June 7-8, 2001 XX.- Phoenix, Arizona - June 21-22, 2002 XXI.- Chihuahua, Chihuahua - August 7-8, 2003 XXII.- Santa Fe, New Mexico - August 9-10, 2004 XXIII.- Torreon, Coahuila - July 14/15, 2005



The Cerro del Obispado in Monterrey, N.L.

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