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Northwestern Mexican States Aim For Better Coordination With The U.S.

Leaders of four Mexican states met in Tijuana to discuss a new strategy for economic development.

Mexico’s northwestern state leaders said Wednesday in Tijuana they plan to better integrate policies and infrastructure with those in the U.S.

In the past, border states in Mexico have tried aligning policies in an east-west direction. Officials said Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Sonora are trying a new approach: one that prioritizes north-south coordination.

Water supply infrastructure is one of the more urgent examples as a result of the cross-border drought, said Jorge Carlos Diaz Cuervo, director of regional development for Mexico's agricultural and urban development ministry, SEDATU. He said water supplies have dropped significantly.

“What’s happening in the North American side will start to impact this side of the border,” Cuervo said. “We see cuts of 10 percent to 15 percent of water supplies from the Colorado River to this region.”

Officials are pushing for regional water distribution infrastructure that takes what’s happening in the U.S. into account, Diaz said. They hope to work with companies and policy-makers in the U.S. to solve the issue.

They said 76 proposed infrastructure projects worth 10 billion pesos (about $666.7 million U.S.) aim to link production and tourism hubs in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Sonora as well as the U.S.

Officials didn’t release specifics about the projects, but said at least some of them are expected to receive funding by 2016.

Diaz said the money will come from city, state and federal governments, public-private partnerships and private investments.

“We’re trying to generate consensus on these projects,” he said.

Diaz said bi-national integration means mirroring trade regulations and coordinating infrastructure projects.

Officials said this is expected to improve economies in the northwestern border region and decrease problems of economic inequality in the region. They worked with the border research institute El Colegio de la Frontera Norte to develop economic development strategy that focuses on cross-border and regional coordination.


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