The growth of the economy of Guanajuato in recent years has made it one of the most dynamic states in the Republic of Mexico. 

Through the implementation of the “Development Plan 2040: Building the Future,” plan, which was developed under the administration of former governor Miguel Márquez Márquez, Guanajuato aspires to be Mexico’s fifth most prosperous geographic entity.

A brief overview of the economy of Guanajuato

  • As of the end of 2018, the Guanajuato workforce numbered 2,590,155 occupied people. Of that total, 10 percent were involved in primary activities.  This sector of the economy includes the extraction and refining of natural resources, such as mining, agriculture, forestry. 

    Thirty-six percent of the workers participating in the economy of Guanajuato were employed in secondary activities that include manufacturing, manipulating, altering and refining, while the remaining 54% of the workforce was occupied in tertiary economic activities.  Tertiary activities are those that are found in the service sector of an economy.

  • Manufacturing is the most dynamic sector of the economy of Guanajuato. It occupies 26.6% of the state’s workforce.  It is followed by trade and retail with 18.7% and services at 9.16 percent.
  • The three sectors of the Guanajuato economy that contributed most to the entity’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) were manufacturing at 28.8% and retail trade with 21.3%. Real estate and rental services for movable and intangible property contributed an additional 9.1% of value to Guanajuato’s GDP.
  • The most important industry clusters in Guanajuato are automotive, textiles, food processing, chemicals, aerospace, information technology and logistics. According to the state’s Secretariat for Sustainable Development “the diverse clusters present in Guanajuato allows for a balanced economy that has opened up opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

The economy of Guanajuato is powered by foreign direct investment

Over the course of the last two decades, Guanajuato has ranked 7th in Mexico in the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI).   This represents a capital inflow of approximately US $21.4 billion.  To put this into a national context, this represents 128.5% more than FDI flows to Aguascalientes (US $9.4 billion); 33.5% more than Querétaro (US $16.1 billion) and 56.5% more than San Luis Potosí (US $13.7 billion).  During this period FDI into the economy of Guanajuato accounted for 35% of foreign direct investment into Mexico’s Bajío region.

Nationally, only Baja California, Chihuahua, Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo León were recipients of more FDI.

Over the last two decades, manufacturing has been the economic sector that has attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment in Guanajuato.  Funds flowing into the economy during this period totaled approximately US $15 billion.  Manufacturing was followed by investment in financial and insurance services, with US $1.62 billion, retail trade, with US $1.14 billion; the transport, postal and storage sectors, with US $1.1 billion; telecommunications, with US $824 million; and the generation and transmission of electricity with US $719 million.

Infrastructure has been a key to attracting FDI to the economy of Guanajuato

Guanajuato is home to 25 industrial parks that have been of critical importance in the attraction of foreign direct investment to the state.  Parks occupying about 62,000 acres of land were built by private investment totaling approximately US $7 billion house both foreign and domestic companies. 

In addition, the state has the “Guanajuato Puerto Interior,” (GPI) or the Guanajuato Interior Port, which is one of Mexico’s leading logistics services hubs, as well as is home to five industrial parks and the SkyPlus aerospace park.

Companies that have installed manufacturing facilities in the GPI include Volkswagen, Pirelli, Nestlé-Purina, Beiersdorf-Nivea, Honda Lock.  Educational institutions such as the National Polytechnic Institute are situated there, as well.

The economy of Guanajuato is home to Mexico’s most dynamic automotive hub

The influx of automotive manufacturers into Guanajuato has changed the dynamics of the state’s economy.  In the last 20 years, many countries have settled in the entity and have created numerous jobs in many of in 32 of the state’s municipalities. 

Currently, there are five assembly plants established in the state (General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Hino Motors and Toyota) that produce 10 models of automobiles and trucks.  Guanajuato produces one of every five vehicles produced in Mexico and will become the nation’s most prolific producer of motor vehicles in 2020.

The Guanajuato Secretariat for Economic and Sustainable Development has also stated that much progress has been made in integrating local businesses into the state’ automotive industry supply chain.  Current figures demonstrate that twenty percent of inputs to the sector have their origin in the investment of indigenous capital. 

The automotive sector has become the main driver of exports in the economy of Guanajuato.  The state’s Automotive Industry Cluster Organization estimates that over the next four years, the industry could account for 95% of the state’s total exported products.