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The Thriving Manufacturing Base on the U.S. Mexican Border

The NAFTA Institute conference took place last week and it reaffirms all the business opportunities that are available on the U.S./Mexican border, particularly in El Paso, TX, Southern New Mexico and Juarez, the neighboring city just south of the border. The cities clustered together in this region make up one of the largest manufacturing hubs in North America.

Thanks in large part to NAFTA, factories around the world have set up shop in Mexico all along the border to take advantage of the low labor costs and skilled work force in the country. These foreign owned factories also known as maquiladoras present a huge opportunity to supply them with the services and materials they need to manufacture a finished product. The maquilas need products and services such as:

metal stamping
metal fabrication
plastic injection
bolts and fasteners
calibration service for their machinery
packaging materials
printing

and much much more. The maquilas need these services and are buying from companies around the world because there aren’t enough suppliers near them. After speaking to many of the maquila buyers at the NAFTA conference they want companies providing these services much closer to where they are located.

“Most people don’t realize that El Paso, Southern New Mexico, and Juarez combined is one of the largest manufacturing regions in North America”, says Jackie Edwards, CEO of the Paso del Norte Group an organization that promotes this area as the premier place to do business. This part of the world is unique because it combines the best qualities of doing business in one big city, but in two different countries.

The booming economy in China and other newly industrialized countries around the world has raised standards of living and along with it the cost of labor and manufacturing a finished product. Once adding the time and cost of shipping it doesn’t make sense anymore to manufacture or buy anything from oversees when we have everything in our own back yard.

If you provide any of the products or services that maquilas are purchasing you should consider moving closer to this huge manufacturing region. If you do in fact move your operations to New Mexico, the state offers many tax breaks and incentives to move your company to the state, particularly if you hire and train new employees. Organizations such as the New Mexico Partnership can walk you through all the incentives of relocating to New Mexico. If you’re interested in international business, but don’t know where to start, organizations like the International Business Accelerator can guide you step by step with everything you need. Companies in New Mexico interested supplying the maquiladoras or exporting anything to Mexico can turn to the Gateway to Exporting program for help.

Other than doing business in this area, living in a border city offers the best of two countries. When your not working, New Mexico also offers any vacationer everything from snow skiing, water skiing, water rafting, hot air balloon and wine festivals, and much more. Living in the Southwest is an exciting place to be with lots of business opportunities for anyone willing to take advantage of them.

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