REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Carlos Talancón Ostos, secretary of economic development for the State of Tamaulipas, says 19 major new manufacturing operations are coming to his state by the end of this year or the beginning of next.

The total capital investment is more than $1.3 billion, with more than 9,000 new jobs set to be created. Most of the plants will be built in Reynosa.

Carlos Talancón Ostos

Talancón confirmed the projects in an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian while participating in a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca held with local municipalities and maquila trade associations on Friday. The event focused on clean air and the environment and was held at the Holiday Inn in downtown Reynosa.

Talancón said some of the corporations coming to Reynosa were approached when a Tamaulipas trade delegation that included Cabeza de Vaca and Talancón visited China and South Korea in April.

“We have 19 companies that have already said they are coming to Tamaulipas. There will be more than 9,000 employees and $1.3 billion in investment by the end of this year and no later than next year,” Talancón said.

“And, we are working on 33 different projects that could be coming. We are still fighting different states, like Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, for these projects but they are good prospects. They have the potential of more than $2.5 billion in investment. But, the ones we have for sure are the 19 that have already bought the land, that are in the process of establishing the unions. They are ready to establish in Reynosa and Tamaulipas. The majority are in Reynosa.”

Talancón said the great thing about attracting top corporations that pay good wages is that helps deter young people from joining cartel-related gangs.

“When you have the option of working for a good company with a good salary, then you have an option not to go a certain way that we do not like. The problem is when you have high unemployment and people feel they do not have an option. Then, people think they have to work for the bad guys. We are bringing jobs that all the young people, the students, want, with good options and good salaries,” Talancón said.

Talancón said he had just come from a meeting in Reynosa with McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s President Keith Patridge and Vice President Ralph Garcia. He said the meeting was very productive.

“Our commitment is to think and work as a region. As Keith has always said, we are one city in two different nations. That is what we need to understand,” Talancón said.

Talancón said he was pleased to report that the State of Tamaulipas is working closer with the State of Texas on economic development projects than ever before. As an example, he cited a meeting he held with Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz last week.

“We are working closer than ever with Texas. We had a meeting last week with the mayor of Laredo, with the mayor of Nuevo Laredo. They want to do the same thing Reynosa and McAllen have been doing all these years. Reynosa is No. 1 for growth in Tamaulipas. I told them, we need to work together, just as we do with MEDC and the City of Reynosa. If you do not work together you will not achieve all the great things Reynosa and McAllen have been doing for all these years,” Talancón said.

The memorandum of understanding signing ceremony involved the leaders of INDEX in Reynosa, Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, along with the State of Tamaulipas and various cities. A commitment was made to improve air quality in Tamaulipas. Talancón said by focusing on clean energy, more big corporations can be attracted to Tamaulipas.

“We are signing an agreement on what we want to do concerning clean air. We want to be a state with clean energy. We have more than 20 clean energy projects that we have been working on. That is what we want the image of Tamaulipas to be,” Talancón said.

“We have a lot of companies that have commitments with us that have to have a percentage of clean energy in their portfolio. We did not have. We did not have the power to give them in a clean energy form. But, by the end of this year we are going to be able to provide them with what they need. We are working on 20 more projects involving clean energy.”

Editor’s Note: Rio Grande Guardian reporter Blanca Zumaya has penned a story about Carlos Talancón visiting KIA Motors México’s auto manufacturing plant in Pesquería, Nuevo León. Click here to read the story.