San Diego: The cross-border advantage

This piece was published as part of World Trade Week 2023.

Supply chain resiliency can be the difference between a company’s success and its premature decline—especially in the last few years. Recently, we have seen an uptick in U.S.-based companies beginning to look at regionalizing or nearshoring their overall operations. Although Asia remains a cost-effective option, San Diego companies are looking increasingly to Mexico as an ideal location to lead advanced manufacturing, hire a technical workforce, and save money.

Our binational region, which includes San Diego County, Imperial County, and Mexican state of Baja California, is home to more than 7.1 million people and specializes in high-value goods and services. San Diego and Tijuana jointly host some of the world’s strongest innovation clusters, including the world’s largest medical device cluster, due in part to significant foreign direct investment from global firms that often co-locate on both sides of the border.

CaliBaja’s cross-border capabilities

Just 20 minutes south of San Diego’s downtown, Tijuana and the CaliBaja binational mega-region present a unique opportunity for San Diego-based companies looking to localize their impact and lower costs. Here are three ways to do so:

  • Find advanced manufacturers near San Diego: Maquiladoras in Tijuana and Baja California support advanced manufacturing for numerous U.S. aerospace, medical device, and consumer goods companies.
  • Leverage highly-skilled technical talent: San Diego and Tijuana jointly host some of the world’s strongest innovation clusters and brightest engineering and scientific talent. With geographic proximity and fewer visa limitations, Tijuana and San Diego teams can foster stronger collaboration and teamwork, as well as effectively monitor product quality and workflows.
  • Access cost-savings and duty deferral opportunities: Through free trade agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), companies can take advantage of significant cost-savings and duty deferral programs. This is a significant opportunity for companies with advanced manufacturing operations to diversify supply chains and improve bottom lines.

Learn how San Diego-based Taylor Guitars leverages advanced manufacturers in Baja California:

How do I get started?

First, contact us to set up a free consultation about strategic opportunities in the cross-border region. EDC and World Trade Center San Diego can also help you connect with regional partners that work daily to help companies like yours leverage cross-border resources, including:

  • Tijuana EDC offers complimentary consulting services to help U.S. companies expand manufacturing and nearshore supply chains. In the past few years, Tijuana has experienced unprecedented cross-border business growth and has provided numerous U.S.-based companies with advanced manufacturing solutions.
  • ITJ helps U.S. companies create technology centers of excellence in Mexico and source top technical talent. ITJ serves fast-growing and high-value market sectors, particularly in Life Sciences, Biotechnology, and Internet of Medical Things, and works with innovative medical device companies to improve people’s lives.

Meet our cross-border partners at MetroConnect PitchFest & World Trade Week San Diego on May 11, 2023. ➝ Reserve your ticket.

You might also like:

Caroline Murray
Caroline Murray

Manager, World Trade Center San Diego