REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – The 43 municipalities that comprise the northern part of Mexico represent 7.5 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as being economically dynamic and the richest in terms of production.

This was the message given by Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Dr. Graciela Márquez Colín on a visit to Reynosa on Friday. She said that between 2013 and 2017, the 43 municipalities that comprise the northern area generated a growth of 3.1 percent in economic activity, higher than the national average which was 2.2 percent.

“Hence, the fiscal stimulus, the increase in the minimum wage and the closing of the energy gap will allow the growth of this region to be further enhanced,” Márquez Colín said, in the context of the start of the Free Zone of the Northern Border program, which was unveiled in Reynosa by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

She pointed out that this program is intended to generate a curtain of jobs for the inhabitants of this border region, where at least ten of the 43 municipalities are in Tamaulipas – such as Nuevo Laredo, Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Mier, Miguel Alemán, Camargo, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Valle Hermoso and Matamoros.

Márquez Colín explained that these municipalities “grow more than the rest of the country and are a significant part of Mexico’s production.”

She explained that the state of Tamaulipas has 2.9 percent of the national GDP and that between January and November of the year 2018 generated 42,000 jobs.

Márquez Colín explained that Tamaulipas occupies ninth place when it comes to foreign investment in the country. Over a period of 30 years, she said, a platform has been established in the state that welcomes the investment of foreign capital.

She mentioned that the most foreign investment comes from the United States, followed by capital from Spain and Canada.

“We have to take this attraction that is already here and expand it to other regions. So, we seek to make these municipalities more attractive with the fiscal incentives that the Free Zone of the Northern Border program has,” Márquez Colín said.

The federal official added that Tamaulipas has a connection with global markets, which places it in fifth place in terms of total exports, with a large volume of sales for devices such as radios, televisions, telephones and electronic circuits. She said the goal now is to diversify the number of products and services exported.

Márquez Colín said that the stimulus program of the Free Zone of the Northern Border aims to activate the productive and commercial potential of the area by creating more and better jobs.

Finally, she said that in this region there will be an economic curtain that elevates the quality of life of the inhabitants and that will provide more for those who migrate in search of opportunities for the welfare of their families.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows Graciela Márquez Colín, Mexico’s secretary of the economy.

Editor’s Note: The above story by reporter Blanca Zumaya first appeared in Spanish. It was translated into English by Rio Grande Guardian reporter Blanca Gomez.