Kurt Honold Morales, Secretary of Economy and Innovation of Baja California, assures that the construction of the port of Punta Colonet is back on track, revived by billions of dollars from Asian investors seeking to build manufacturing and assembly plants in Mexico for the production of semiconductors, medical supplies and auto parts.
“We are very involved with attracting additional nearshoring opportunities and looking at the possibility of the Punta Colonet port finally being,” declared the public official.
Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda, governor of Baja California, is working hard to revive the construction of an additional Pacific cargo port to service ships from China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
Honold Morales shared that more and more U.S. based companies today are looking to nearsource their production facilities; in other words instead of manufacturing abroad in Asia (outsourcing), an increasing number of manufacturers in the U.S. today are looking to Mexico for opportunities to move their operations a relatively short distance south across the border.
Such a move would allow for companies to take advantage of the lower cost of labor and reduced regulations as well as cross border trade advantages available to them under the renegotiated USMCA Trade Agreement.
A large and growing percentage of Mexico’s exports currently go to the United States with companies there increasingly seeking more local suppliers.
“The Punta Colonet project was pronounced as dead, but today there is a strong demand for another northeastern Pacific port in the Pacific Ocean to serve as an alternative to the busy port terminal at Long Beach, California, in addition to the demand created by the recent arrival of Asian companies to Mexico”, shared the official.
Nearshoring makes the port of Punta Colonet an extremely viable project, explained Honold Morales, with an investment of more than 4 billion dollars expected for the construction phase of the project, initially promoted by the administration of President Felipe Calderón back in 2008.
The state of Baja California will be the government body offering the concession today that will be put out to bid, seeking a private firm to build and operate the port that is expected to be a major boom to the state and local economies.
The small town of Colonet is located approximately 65 miles south of Ensenada, 115 miles from the International border and 220 miles south from the largest port complex in the United States at Long Beach and San Pedro, one of the busiest port areas in the world due to an accelerated, record volume of cargo handled there every day.
That accelerated growth in port activity is directly related to the increased volume in products shipped in from Asian countries, destined for the US market,” says Jorge Arturo Castillo Chávez, an expert in Foreign Trade Relations.
Baja California is betting on being able to capture enough of that volume to help justify the revival of the ambitious port project at Colonet.