From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (
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Tampico Forum, Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, October 7-8, 2004

Growth in the 21st Century: the Challenge of Regional Competitiveness

Scott W. Tinker and Luis Barreda

On October 7 and 8, Scott Tinker and Luis Barreda attended a forum titled “Growth in the 21st Century: the Challenge of Regional Competitiveness” that was held in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The conference was organized by the office of the governor of Tamaulipas, Tomas Yarrington, to address the importance of, and regions’ contribution to, national competitiveness; the role of the energy sector in regional growth; innovative response to market changes through a profitable use of information technologies; and key policies for increasing the competitiveness of the northeastern region (states bordering the U.S.) in order to contribute to Mexico’s future growth.

The forum was divided into four modules, each consisting of magisterial conferences, discussion tables, and a question-and-answer session.

The first module, “The Role of Regions in Promoting National Economic Growth,” questioned why Mexico is not growing today from a “per capita” perspective. Speakers for this module included Pedro Aspe, former Secretary of the Treasury of Mexico, and Jeffrey Davidow, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

The second module, “Energy as a Factor of Competitiveness,” dealt with current production levels of Mexico’s significant energy reserves and the inability to meet demands. Will the country’s economic development be jeopardized? Among the speakers were Scott Tinker, who presented “Upstream Perspective on Natural Gas in Mexico: Resources, Technology and Competitiveness”; Raul Monteforte, Director of the Energy Regulatory Commission of Mexico; and Jose Mayorga from the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The third module, “Information and Communication Technologies as Competitive Advantages,” included a discussion of CIT”s, which are tools that can promote economic growth and development in the region. Jaime Parada, General Director of CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) was among several presenters.

The fourth module’s title was “Regional Competitiveness: Texas-Tamaulipas-Nuevo Leon-Coahuila.” Main speakers were Tomas Yarrington, Governor of Tamaulipas; Natividad Gonzalez, Governor of Nuevo Leon; and Enrique Martinez, Governor of Coahuila. These four governors discussed how the region can compete and what policies would be required in new scenarios for greater economic interdependence.

The 2-day forum took place in the new Cultural Center of Tampico. More than 3,000 attendees filled the new auditorium, which has the capacity to accommodate only 1,500 people. The overflow crowd observed conferences from hallways and exhibit halls, where large television screens and speakers had been set up. People attending this great conference were from the private sector, government offices from all states, and local and state universities.