The goal of this project was to diagnose the challenges and obstacles confronting Baja California, Campeche and Tabasco in terms of growth and productivity, and identify the development strategy that would allow for expansion or strengthening of their industries through transitioning to activities with greater complexity or added value. Our research teams provided concrete policy recommendations for promoting growth over time so as to spur diversification of exports and the local, state and regional industrial base.
Despite being one of the most prosperous states with the highest level of development, Baja California is facing major challenges such as the slowing down of economic activity. Although the state ranked 12th on the 2016 Competitiveness Index for States from the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO) and is one of the states with the highest economic complexity export-wise (1.20), with a major presence in modern industries such as electronics, machinery and transportation vehicles, it is a state where most economic indicators have declines. The 0.3% growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the state for the 2003-2013 decade was significantly lower than the 1.4% national average rate, coming in at the fourth lowest in the country. After the crisis, the recovery of exports from Baja California has been even slower while exports of manufactured and ore products from the area grew at an average annual rate of 1.3% from 2007 to 2014 compared to a national average of 5.6%.
In contrast, Campeche and Tabasco rank 1st and 4th nationally in terms of GDP per capita. Their wealth is almost totally dependent on natural resources: oil represents 89% of Campeche's exports and 97% of Tabasco's exports. These states accounted for 7.8% of national GDP and 86.1% of the oil GDP of the country, reaching a dependency of 86.7% and 54.7% on the oil industry, respectively. Campeche's GDP, in constant 2008 pesos, has fallen from a high of $892 billion pesos in 2004 to $610 million in 2014. Tabasco's performance was better during this period though its GDP growth is still below the national average by a percentage point. The decline in oil prices has revealed the need to diversify the economies of both these states.