April 25, 2008

“Borders shouldn’t be barriers”: Baja California Governor

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Baja California Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán was in San Diego last week to strengthen binational relations between San Diego County and Baja California.

On Thursday, April 17, he was a guest at the Institute of the Americas at the University of California, San Diego, where he gave a conference titled Retos y Oportunidades de la Relación Fronteriza.

In that conference he said that the border shouldn’t be an excuse to limit cultural and economical exchanges between the two sides.

“Borders shouldn’t be barriers to creative and innovative thought, they should be places where we work in the present looking towards the future,” Osuna Millán said.

He also said that in Baja California there’s a productive environment open to local investment. Currently the government is trying to eliminate bureaucracy to support the establishment of more businesses.

Baja California is one of the states in Mexico with major foreign investment in the country. Some of the foreign companies in Baja California include Sharp, Hunday, General Electric, Kenwood, and Toyota. This allows the state to strengthen a policy of business development.

Welcomed by UCSD chancellor MaryAnne Fox, International Affairs vice-chancellor, Peter Cowhe, and Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) President Tonatiuh Guillén, the governor was witness to the agreement of collaboration between UCSD and COLEF.

“I accepted UCSD’s invitation because this allows us to strengthen my administration’s policy dealing with people’s quality of life. Our binational reality represents a great challenge,” Osuna Millán said.

He also talked about migration, pointing out that in Baja California migration has been a key factor in the state cities’ economic growth, which translates to Tijuana having the highest border-crossers, 19 percent of the entire border.

Regarding the modernization of the ports of entry, he said that Baja California’s government promotes updating current facilities, opening all lanes all the time, double checkpoints, increasing the operation hours of the Tecate port of entry to 24 hours, and opening more SENTRI lanes.

“We share with California the same vision: Increase competitiveness through border alliances, that’s why Baja California is among the top five Mexican states with greatest potential for technological and industrial development,” Osuna Millán said.

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