This weekend, in the New York Times a column was published by Chris Anderson who many may know for his work in The Wired and The Economist. In his column he talks about the new industrial age where it is much easier to create products while being close to the manufacturing plants, and in this case he spoke specifically of the relationship between San Diego and Tijuana and of the company 3D Robotics, who he founded three years ago with an engineer native of Tijuana, Jordi Muñoz.
3D Robotics is dedicated to designing and assembling drones to capture images and video. They are designed in San Diego, and assembled in Tijuana which the experience of coming and going everyday has given Anderson an idea of what it’s like, and talk about the great opportunity that this represents for Mexico, the U.S. and the global industry.
Tijuana is the capital of the world in television production thanks to companies like Sony and Samsung, who both have the facilities that manufacture flat screen televisions and other products in this region.
It’s not only televisions that are produced here in Tijuana, but the border city is also distinguished by its contributions to the development in the medical and aerospace industries.
The possibilities are endless for several Mexican cities. Anderson also gave other examples like Ciudad Juarez where Foxconn, who produces 40% of the electronics in the world, is dedicated in manufacturing Dell computers. To this list of foreign investment we could add auto manufacturing plants that are located in different regions of Mexico, in which manufacturing and exporting is the main activity in the Aztec nation.
The ties that link San Diego and Tijuana, give both the United States and Mexico several advantages. Some of them are that the employer can observed everything closely, with just a little trip over the border; the employer is able to see the working conditions of employees, and produce the necessary amount of goods and not risk being exposed to delivering large amounts which could arrive to its destination in bad conditions. Also, one more important advantage is that the employer can make sure that the parts being used are original, and reduce shipping costs as long it’s not giant company like Apple, who it would difficult for to have products shipped to them overnight. With a small production line it is easier to identify errors and innovate more often, it was not necessary to exhaust the large production units in order to advance to the next stage of production.
Just like Hong Kong and Shenzhen who both led the way for China to become an international model of growth, this is the golden opportunity that Mexico and the United States have searched for, but now it’s just a matter of more entrepreneurs realizing what Mexico has to offer, and the perfect conditions that could solidify the economy on both sides of the border.
Chris Anderson also briefly spoke about the transformation that this border city has gone through, in which all of the residents can now enjoy the quality of life and work in a peaceful environment, far away from the old days when there were a lot of shootings, murders and kidnappings in the city.