In comparison to China a 2 million people population may not sound overwhelming, however considering that Tijuana is only 130 years old and that Mexico has less than 130 million people, perhaps puts things under perspective. Tijuana is the six largest City in Mexico and by the end of 2018 was ranked the fastest growing city in the country. Lately you will see several high rises being built, only in the last 3 years it is estimated that nearly twenty new buildings where erected, also positioning Tijuana as the highest capital gain in real estate investment with an whopping 50.1 percent increase from 2017 to 2018.
The high volume migration rate is for sure one of the rute causes, while people from Mexico and several countries in Latin America arrive hear every year looking for better opportunities, it is well known that Tijuana is a city of migrants, historically this is a fact, in resent years the migration rate fluctuates from 5 to 6 percent yearly, this is an astonishing number, Tijuana is also one of the most visited cities and shares with the USA one of the busiest borders in the world, receiving thousands of people from north and south as well as east and west. Taking into account these facts, it is no wonder that such a dynamic city at one point requires strong urban planning and the establishment of new infrastructure, the growth has been so fast and the volume so large that infrastructure is fast becoming a need and an opportunity for foreign investment.
One of the first tasks that was talked was the modernization of the Tijuana International Airport which receives several flights from Asia, two coming directly from China one from Shanghai (Aeromexico) two times a week and from Beijing (Hainan Airlines) also twice a week. With a sophisticated system called CBX (Cross Border Xpress) travellers arriving in Tijuana City now have the option to walk on to a small bridge and cross directly to the USA or they can just walk straight from the arrival lounge on to Tijuana’s streets. CBX has been available for use since 2015 and it has proven to be a successful and useful tool for millions of travellers each year. The bridge is 390ft long and connects the Tijuana Airport with a terminal in San Diego. It is the first building to connect the USA to a foreign terminal and it helps travelers avoid congested and time consuming crossings to the USA. From Tijuana users may also connect to over 30 destinations in Mexico and yes China as well.
Another task was to modernize the commercial border line where over USD $293 billion worth of goods are exported to the USA every year on average. The border crossing between California and Mexico at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa and Calexico are the busiest land ports of entry to the Western Hemisphere, 28 million vehicles and 92 million people cross this border each year. Given the fact that 80% of this U.S.-Mexico trade is done via ground transportation there is no doubt why the need for efficiency and safety becomes key. From the USA side The federal government together with regional agencies have invested millions in border infrastructure to facilitate the flow of goods and people between the U.S.-Mexico border. Since 2015, there has been an expansion of one of the ports of entry, a new cross-border airport facility (CBX) new highways to access border crossings and a new transit hub to facilitate trancit for people in San Diego to and from the border with Tijuana. By 2023, we might see two ports of entry expanding, a new bus route from downtown to the border and a new sophisticated port of entry east of the two current ones. On the Mexican side the modernization of Otay Exports port of entry to the United States was concluded last year and now allows easier and more fluid transportation of comercial godos from Mexico into the USA.
On another end new city development pans point in a different direction, the idea is to focus on more efficient mass transportation systems in Tijuana, there are a few projects pending and investors are looking into the biding potential. One of the projects involves a second level (second floor) highway which will connect from near to the airport to playas de Tijuana, the coastal region of the city, another project involves the construction of a passenger train within the city crossing it from east to west and there are other railroad projects on the way that will facilitate the transportation and connectivity of goods through the city, other regions of Mexico and of course to the United States.
Last year over 100 million dollars where invested by one of the largest listed companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Honkongneese Group Hutchinson Wampoa Limited invested in the expansion of Tijuanas neighboring sea port in the City of Ensenada, this is significat since it’s use by Asian groups and particularly Chinese has been on the rise during the last decade. On another note, last year UPS opened the first international cargo flight out of Tijuana and it’s been succesful enough that there are talks of new companies joining this new regional dynamic.