South Texas Triangle Op–Ed
6. Why ‘nearshoring’ in Nuevo León, Mexico, matters to San Antonio
Dr. Antonio Petrov
5 min read
6. Why ‘nearshoring’ in Nuevo León, Mexico, matters to San Antonio

Why ‘nearshoring’ in Nuevo León, Mexico, matters to San Antonio

Imagine a tapestry woven between the border of Mexico and the United States, one that tells the story of a remarkable alliance between Nuevo León and Texas.

This isn’t just a tale of economics. It’s a testament to how teamwork across borders can foster a future that is fair and green. This partnership transcends geographical boundaries, proving that when neighbors collaborate, incredible things can happen. In a world where boundaries matter less, and cooperation matters more, Nuevo León and Texas are paving the way for a new kind of cross-border friendship that is setting the bar high for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Through much of the Express-News' South Texas Triangle op-ed series, writers have looked south toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Now we flip the perspective and look north.

Over the years, Texas and Nuevo León have grown closer in business and investment. More than 2,300 American companies have set up shop in Nuevo León, bringing with them an astounding $25 billion in investments from the U.S. These companies span a spectrum of industries, from cutting-edge tech to good old-fashioned trade and energy. This interwoven collaboration is strengthening both sides of the border, economically and otherwise.

But what’s really got everyone talking is “nearshoring.” It’s like a turbo boost for growth.

Nuevo León has emerged as Mexico’s nearshoring champion, home to 76% of all foreign investments flowing into the country. A major chunk of that comes from the U.S., which accounts for 40% of the total foreign investment in Nuevo León. But here’s the twist — it’s a two-way street. Companies from Nuevo León are expanding their horizons into Texas, showcasing a give-and-take relationship that is a textbook example of how cross-border connections can supercharge economic development.

Texas has a legacy as a production and logistics hub, and Nuevo León is stepping up to be Mexico’s hub, partnering closely with Texas for mutual benefit. For years, major American players such as John Deere, Walmart — and many others  —  have placed their bets on Nuevo León.

What’s the secret sauce? Well, it’s all about the expertise. Nuevo León knows how to manufacture — especially when it comes to the automotive and home appliance sectors, along with energy, IT and software. 

Nuevo León boasts Mexico's strongest automotive supply chain with more than 1,600 companies dedicated to the industry. A staggering 40% of Mexico’s supply chain for home appliances is rooted in Nuevo León. In the tech realm, global players such as Disney’s Accenture-developed Magic Band have chosen Nuevo León as their base.

This partnership symbolizes a shared commitment to a greener and fairer future. Nuevo León Gov. Samuel Garcia and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have strengthened their ties with the goal of making Nuevo León-Texas a nearshoring powerhouse.

Innovation and technology are the wind beneath the wings of sustainable growth in the region. When universities, research hubs and companies join forces, they conjure up ingenious solutions that tackle economic, social and environmental issues. The transfer of knowledge and interdisciplinary teamwork create a fertile ground for innovation and competitiveness. 

The “cross-border logistics corridor” is where the rubber meets the road in terms of infrastructure driving trade and investment. It has the potential to transform the region into a top-tier logistics hub. It’s not just about goods moving efficiently; it’s about powering local development and generating jobs, amplifying equity and prosperity in the region.

And here’s a curveball — education and skill-building take center stage. The educational bond between Nuevo León’s top universities and Texas’ prestigious Texas A&M University and University of  Texas at Austin ensures a strong flow of knowledge and expertise, particularly in science and technology. Training initiatives, scholarships and partnerships between universities and companies empower individuals, making them not just participants in the economy but also agents of positive change.

Nearshoring is also attracting the semiconductor industry to Texas and Arizona, opening the opportunity for production of other components, as well as the testing and packaging of these semiconductors in Nuevo León.

But let’s not put all our eggs in one economic basket. While sectors such as automotive and manufacturing have a solid track record, diversification is key for long-term sustainability. Exploring emerging sectors such as the digital economy, health care and agritech broadens the horizon for economic growth and ensures resilience against market fluctuations

The partnership between Nuevo León and Texas isn’t just a transaction; it’s a tale of collaboration, determination and shared optimism. As we gaze into the future, this relationship stands tall as a shining example of how working across borders can lead to a future that’s not just prosperous but also equitable and green. This border region is poised to become a beacon of progress on the global stage. It’s not just about economies; it’s about weaving dreams into reality across the vast canvas of a border these two regions share.

Emmanuel Loo is deputy secretary of foreign investment for the state of Nuevo León, Mexico.

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