Maquila Reference is designed to serve as a reference/guide for the Maquiladora Industry and Mexico manufaturing.

Manufacturing in Mexico: Mexicali


As the capital State of Baja California and the second largest city in the region, Mexicali is a thriving desert city with a strong agricultural and manufacturing economy. Over the past decade, manufacturing in Mexicali has added to the city’s economic strength, earning it the distinction of having one of Mexico’s highest standards of living, especially along the border. A large, highly educated work force, combined with available low-wage labor, has helped attract multinational organizations for manufacturing in Mexico. Mexicali has succeeded in attracting many different industries, including aerospace, medical device, electronic, automobile and clean energy. In 2004, a 9,900-acre industrial area called Silicon Border was developed with the purpose of becoming the world’s next semiconductor manufacturing center. While the economic downturn of 2008 has slowed the progress of this development, the Mexican federal and Baja State government is committed to make it a long-term success.

Industrial space in Mexicali is fairly abundant. There are large industrial parks built mostly by regional developers and smaller, stand-alone industrial buildings, as well. The city government has successfully kept up with Mexicali’s growth by improving the roads, access to technology and availability of public transportation.

Mexicali is considered one of Mexico’s safest border cities, where violent crime is limited. Mexicali’s success in keeping crime low is partly due to its remote, desert location. The trade off, from a manufacturing prospective, is the hot climate in the summer months, where temperatures can reach over 120F (52C) and the added cost of transportation to the nearest U.S. commercial city of San Diego, some 120 (192 kilometers) miles to the west. Despite its location, Mexicali continues to attract new foreign investment and enjoys one of Mexico’s lowest unemployment rates.