The maquila and export manufacturing industry is currently one of the greatest economic development engines, not only in Tamaulipas, but in the entire country.  Within this context, and after 50 years of history, this industry has encouraged Reynosa as one of the most dynamic and competitive cities.

According to Enrique Castro Septien, president of Index Reynosa, it is an industry that has more than 6,200 establishments, from which more than half are companies certified by the finance authority.

“We have more than 3 million direct employees and 7.5 million indirect jobs; this means more than 20 million families in Mexico which collaborate, work, depend or support this industry,” he said.

However, it is important to underline that this development was not possible if four fundamental factors had not helped:

1.    1.    Economic Development
2.    Infrastructure
3.     Social Responsibility
4.     Security


Enrique Castro explains that this is an industry that has been confused many times or its importance has not been dimensioned, but in the last five six-year periods has had to exhibit and convince many of its importance.

Why has Index been developed and grew in an exponential manner for the last 50 years? Castro Septien said that many assumptions and opinions have been heard, but the most important is that this industry knew how to take advantage of the conditions, infrastructure, human capital development, environmental respect and the development of an important qualified workforce base with which was satisfied and attracted the markets for then establish throughout Mexico.

“Markets are intelligent, as it is also the people that integrate and develop them,” emphasized Castro.

With work, effort, dedication and honesty, adapting new technologies, being innovative and more prepared and sophisticated, the attraction of capitals and the development of new capitals and the development of new markets in this region will continue to expand.

At the beginning it was only a program for the worker that due to necessity migrated to the United States looking for a better project of life, (brazier project in the 60’s,) soon became something increasingly complex, and striking regarding investment attraction.

“In Reynosa from five to seven existing companies with 5,000 and 8,000 employees at the end of the 70’s, grew in such manner that today there are more than 200 establishments with a workforce of more than 130 thousand jobs,” said Castro.

The export industry is a first world Mexican industry, with a high content of foreign investment and with corporate that come from all around the world, but addressed and managed mostly by well-prepared Mexicans.

Enrique Castro provided data about the impact of this sector in the economy: “This industry has generated economic wealth with more than 250,000 million dollars in exports and net income to the country for about 140,000 million dollars; sometimes, I have heard that the main income of the country are remittances sent by our fellow citizens and tourism, and we practically triplicate it.”



The development of infrastructure has been basic: international bridges, road development, port connectivity, first world industrial parks, housing, commerce, supply chain, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, customs agencies, large transporters consortiums, among others, have been fundamental for the development of this region.

Moreover it is important to use the development held on the other side of the border, some kilometers away in Texas Valley, continue working with the different Economic Development Corporations and with cities around it; integrating a metropolitan area integrated by more than 10 cities with an impressive industrial, technological and social growth.



According to Index Reynosa president, this sector has a social approach.

“Wealth generation is one of the main objectives, despite we were not created as utility centers, bus as costs reduction centers, in which productivity and competitiveness is the ones keeping us on global markets.  If this was not so, markets simply would have gone to other regions and countries,” he underlined.

Due to its nature, this industry in which qualified workforce is one of its fundamental pillars is deeply socially responsible.  Here during the last 10 years, time, money and efforts have been dedicated to develop programs in which labor integration to work centers is sought of vulnerable people and with some disabilities.

Castro Septien underlined that one of the industry pillars is human capital, which in turn is one of the most certified and qualified of the country thanks to continuous training through programs elaborated continuously, many times by established unions managed by the people.

The 21 Associations that integrate this national council have well established programs through foundations, child care centers, clinics, training centers, etc.

In Reynosa within the programs highlights the Center for Training and Business Talent which already has more than four years of being operating on a structured manner.  They also have the RAMMAC foundation which has had great achievements; continue supporting and all obtained benefits directly reach the interested ones.

All this – he said – has been developed thanks to that markets have sought and found an ideal place where they can establish and develop.  Their geographical position, natural resources, people, stable labor climate, a legal certainty, a policy and a stable economy.



The state of Tamaulipas is located in the ninth position among the entities that registered higher foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first nine months 2018.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Tamaulipas received 890.2 million dollars by concept of foreign direct investment (FDI).

He detailed that during the first trimester 2018 were reached 411.9 million dollars; in the second one 410.8 million and on the third, 67.5 million.

In addition, he reported that 297.2 million belong to new investments, 238.7 to profits reinvestment and 354.3 million to accounts between companies.

During this period, the main countries that invested in Tamaulipas were the United States, with 264.1 million dollars; Spain, with 216.2 million; Canada, with 136.4 million; Italy, 71.9 million; Germany, with 48.3 million; the Netherlands, with 43.4 million; United Kingdom, 29,9 million; Japan, 25.9 million and France, with 21 million.

Regarding the FDI per sector, up to the third trimester 2018, the investment of manufacturing industries in Tamaulipas reached 454.6 million dollars; meanwhile, the sector of generation, transmission and distribution of electric energy, water supply and of gas through ducts to final consumer recorded 206.5 million dollars.




FDI (md)

1. Mexico City


2. Nuevo Leon


3. Coahuila


4. Estado de Mexico


5. Guanajuato


6. Baja California


7. San Luis Potosi


8. Chihuahua


9. Tamaulipas


10. Aguascalientes


The industry: a range of opportunities

Leonel Cantu Robles, secretary of Economic Development in Reynosa, referred that when the maquila industry settled in Reynosa, the agriculture, livestock, oil and of commerce and service occupation was enriched by this new activity.

He remembered how young people 50 years ago were working at the company ReyMexBra or the company Zenith, one of the many that highlight in this activity.  “With this activity in the export industry in which many men and women took the challenge of working in these companies, some of them arrived with their experience and professional studies to work, and other learned that this was a range of opportunities,” said Cantu.