Querétaro exemplifies many of the advantages of manufacturing in Mexico. From cost benefits to highly skilled workers, this small state in north-central Mexico has much to offer. In fact, foreign firms invested more than $1 billion in Querétaro in 2019 alone, much of it in manufacturing.
Wondering what Querétaro might offer you? Below, we dive into four of the biggest reasons manufacturers opt to invest in Querétaro:
1. Skilled workers
Competitive labor wages are one of the main draws to working in Mexico, particularly once weighed against the higher freight costs of offshoring manufacturing in China or southeast Asia. So, to be fair, it’s important to note that manufacturing workers in Querétaro may be accustomed to a higher wage compared to laborers in other regions across the country. An unskilled worker in Querétaro may earn an average of $3.20 USD per hour, for example, compared to a national average of $2.40.
The advantage here is in what you’re getting from that wage. The state government and local companies have invested significantly in training the local manufacturing workforce. The region is home to more than 100 training centers, 22 universities and technical schools, and 52 research and development facilities. These include the National Aeronautic University of Querétaro, a Bombardier-supported higher education institution providing specialized training for the aerospace sector.
This specialized training helps local employers more readily prepare their workforce to tackle complex tasks in aerospace, automotive and appliance manufacturing. Employers looking for a location where they can find support from local government and existing industrial hubs to support training or skilled hiring will find Querétaro an ideal location.
2. Strong infrastructure
A significant portion of any offshoring operations costs will include the cost of moving materials and completed products. As a result, infrastructure should factor into any location decision.
Querétaro is highly accessible to U.S.-based businesses and the world. The state capital sits just 570 miles south of the Texas border, and is also home to the country’s fastest-growing airport. Manufacturers have easy access to international rail service and seaports in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coast, each within 650 kilometers from the state capital. The state government has invested up to 16% of its annual budget on infrastructure, including the maintenance of more than 2,000 miles of highways and 300 miles of railroad tracks.
However, Querétaro is also well-connected to dense supply chains thanks to local industrial clusters and ample natural resources, including silver and copper mines and oak, pine and cedar forests. This connectivity further helps to reduce the cost of manufacturing.
3. Industrial clusters
Querétaro’s economic clusters help strengthen both points mentioned above. The presence of industrial giants has helped attract more players at all ends of the supply chain and driven further investment in training and infrastructure resources. In many cases, suppliers in like industries opt to co-located in one of the state’s more than 40 industrial parks strategically located from San Juan del Rio to Colon.
Each of Querétaro’s manufacturing industries are today supported by cluster organizations that promote and support growth in the region. These clusters include automotive, plastics, aerospace, medical, biotechnology, and information technology clusters.
Querétaro’s aerospace cluster is a particularly well-known example. Bombardier opened a facility in the area in 2006 to benefit from cost savings. Through tax incentives, negotiation of free trade agreements and the benefits of the IMMEX program, Mexico attracted other aerospace investors. With those companies, the government launched the Aeronautic University to further boost the sector. As of 2020, Querétaro’s aerospace clusters are home to approximately 80 aerospace companies and responsible for creating more than 9,500 direct jobs.
4. Popular destination
If you’re sending managers to launch your operations or planning frequent visits yourself, it’s a bonus that Querétaro is a fantastic destination. Querétaro is among the safest states in Mexico, is home to amenities that range from modern shopping to world class medical facilities, and has a rich cultural background. The state is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites and six “magical towns” imbued with cultural and historic significance.
Because Querétaro has been a manufacturing destination for many years now, it has also gained a strong international community. In fact, the state is home to 15 international schools. But Querétaro’s population growth is also in part a result of migration from nearby states within the Bajío region. Nearly 70 people come to Querétaro each day to benefit from the high quality of life available. That also expands the prospective workforce. While 1.2 million people live directly in the city of Querétaro, there is a potential workforce of 45 million within a 215-mile radius.
Ready to Start Manufacturing in Queretaro?
While there are ample advantages to manufacturing in Mexico, foreign investors will find that each region offers unique benefits. Wages and real estate costs vary somewhat across the country, as does ease of access to ports and local markets. As a result, it’s important to identify your priorities and find a location that meets those needs.
However, you’re hardly alone in seeing the advantages of manufacturing in Querétaro. This metro area has much to offer manufacturers looking for specialized experience and global connectivity. If you’re ready to learn how you can benefit from Querétaro’s advantages, we can help. From start-up services to shelter services, and any preference in between, Tetakawi has the resources to help you launch your operation with success.