Fernando Toranzo Fernandez, Governor of the State of San Luis Potosí, analyzes the advantages of investing in and visiting San Luis Potosí. Over 10 years of job stability, a qualified workforce and efficient collaboration between the public, private and education sectors make this Mexican entity an attractive destination in which many have already placed their trust. Natural beauty, history and opportunity in a well-connected and powerful State. What is your government’s position regarding security in the context of this inter-state cooperation?
This federal administration is taking big steps and it has focused on the issues of greatest concern. It has had a huge impact on several occasions and I believe that is a result of not having given it the importance it required in the past.
A process has begun to identify the correct profiles of the people who should enforce and administer justice. Regional coordination has been very important. The solution is not to strengthen each State individually, but to establish an interstate communication, to strengthen each other and stay coordinated.
We began these regional procedures by establishing alliances with our neighboring States and letting their security forces into our State, and vice versa, when in pursuit of any criminal group. This has helped us obtain better results in our battle against insecurity.
The matter of security is not over because we have reduced its frequency. It is a matter that we have to revise, analyze and redesign continually in pursuit of its evolution. Since 2012 the United States recommends not to visit your State or travel through its roads. How are you working to revert that situation?
Today organized crime delinquency in the State is in its lowest moment compared to the first years of our administration, when we had a great amount of criminal acts. We have also eliminated criminal acts of greater impact, the ones that leave the most marks on the community. We have achieved a significant decrease in criminal incidence of 70 percent from the beginning of our administration to the present day. In 2013 San Luis was at the head of the Mexican States in terms of economic growth and foreign investment. What short-term perspectives do you have?
We have many strengths in San Luis Potosí. We have enjoyed 10 years of job stability. We have worked hard in the negotiations and we have obtained positive results. We have generated very attractive conditions for investors.
We have qualified labor and we work hand in hand with universities and companies to identify the type of profiles we need to develop. At the same time, we propel the incorporation of students into the workforce, so that the transition between school and the real world can be smooth. This is reinforced by the different agreements we have with foreign universities, with which we share knowledge and training.
On the other hand, we have formed a no-aggression pact between the different trade unions. This is very important because in San Luis Potosí management chooses which union will represent its workers. We also have constant round-table discussions with the entrepreneurs, in which we discuss opinions and ideas about the path the industries should take and the best way to build a constantly improving scenario.
We work together with our entrepreneurs in all matters related to research. On the other hand, we have notoriously simplified our administrative procedures and we are now one of the three or four Mexican States with less bureaucracy when it comes to establishing new companies. Why do you think all these initiatives and developments haven’t been recognized?
We are growing. I don’t think that we aren’t recognized or that we are forgotten. We are in a thriving position and we are always looking towards the future. In 2013 we received the largest amount of foreign investment in history and that shows that we are trustworthy when it comes to establishing businesses quickly and with qualified labor, job stability, infrastructure, etc. We are very close to 75 percent of the country’s GDP and we have a very successful terrestrial and railway communication system and our customs office has also obtained several important achievements. How are you channeling the investors coming to you? What type of investors are you looking for?
San Luis Potosí has a great diversity of businesses and sectors, in contrast with many other States, which centralize their riches in a few products. This is an important advantage because problems in particular sectors don’t affect the global production and things can balance out.
We are open to investments in all branches of production. We have been strongly promoting this and we have seen many foreign companies arrive and even generate local and foreign supply chains. Tell us about the relationship of American investors with San Luis Potosí?
All the factors I have been mentioning make it possible for new investments to arrive and for the current investments to expand, because our peaceful situation makes it so. I believe the best spokesperson for San Luis Potosí should be a foreign company, which knows what happens here every day and experiences our progress first hand. What role do excellence, training, innovation and technology have? Which factors, together with security, are most important when deciding to invest?
We have increased our budgets for development and investigation, but we have also reduced the amount of projects, and notoriously improved the quality and strategic election of those projects. The best and only way to achieved more potential for our land is education. I am absolutely convinced of this. Education is the best way of achieving social equality, battling poverty and nurturing democracy. The National Tourism Plan was recently introduced. What is there to experience in San Luis Potosí?
San Luis has a lot to give to the world, to our country and to the United States, of course. We have a great variety of natural beauties and a very important cultural and historical patrimony.
In tourism, we have broken visitors records each year of our administration. Also, we have to benefit from the existing program to make ourselves known. You have dedicated your life to public service and to satisfying the needs of others. What legacy would you like to leave to your people?
Our State is very complex, most of all from a political point of view. What I leave behind is what my people feel, which is the permanent dissatisfaction we feel for having what we have, and how much we just want to look towards the future and improve constantly. We have a very noble people, with a noble fighting spirit.