Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, is known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico due to its electronics industry. It is home to eight of the top 10 contract electronic manufacturers worldwide, including Solectron, Flextronics and SCI Systems. Many original equipment manufacturers — including IBM, ON Semiconductor, Hewlett Packard, and Kodak — also have a long history of working in the city.

These companies, along with dozens of key suppliers, were attracted to Guadalajara because of its qualified labor force at all levels, a commitment by state and local government to continually improve infrastructure, the presence of top-tier educational institutions, and a high quality of life supported one of the world’s most favorable climates.

More than 70 international companies also offer advanced IT services including application design, software development and testing, embedded software for the automotive industry, wireless applications, printers, medical devices, and multimedia.

Because of this well-established foundation and the opportunity to grow further, FDI magazine previously ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican locations in terms of potential and designated the city as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city after Chicago. In 2007, FDI Magazine also ranked Guadalajara as the most business-friendly city in all of Latin America.

With a population of 1.6 million, it is Mexico’s second most populous municipality. Add in the surrounding metropolitan area — which includes Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, and El Salto — and the talent pool expands to 4.1 million inhabitants, making it the second largest metro area in the country after Mexico City and the 23rd in all of the Americas.

Situated at an altitude of 1,600 meters (5,200 feet), Guadalajara also enjoys a mild, spring-like climate year round that is the envy of other cities the world over. That alone would be enough to make most flock to this pleasant location. But the quality of life is bolstered even further since Guadalajara is one of the main centers of culture, history, religion, and industry in the country. For all these reasons, the city exerts significant influence on the rest of Mexico.

In addition to the impressive roster of private sector companies, Guadalajara is a very important center of universities and educational centers with national and worldwide prestige. It is home to the Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG), Universidad Panamericana, the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO), Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, and the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), among others.

Even outside of the capital, Jalisco has many leading IT and BPO companies with operations in the state that take advantage of its convenient geographic location, qualified IT human resources, and excellent infrastructure. The government provides a strong support for the industry with clear strategies that materialize through the ease of establishing new companies, investment incentives, tax exemptions, and cash grants provided by the ProSoft program.

“Mexico’s States of Innovation: Guadalajara”

State of Jalisco Key Facts

Location
The state of Jalisco borders the states of Nayarit, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes to the north; San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato and Michoacan to the east; Colima and the Pacific Ocean to the south; and the state of Nayarit to the west.

Major Cities
Guadalajara, Chapala, Puerto Vallarta

Population
6.8 million

Higher Education
Universidad Panamericana, Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO), Universidad de Guadalajara, Monterrey Institute of Technology, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG)

Graduates from IT Careers
18,000 per year

IT Infrastructure
Jalisco supports the creation and acceleration of IT Mexican companies and has developed a robust infrastructure for global companies to conduct business in and from Jalisco. Guadalajara is home to advanced technology centers such as the Software Center, and the Software and Integrated IT Services Park in Guadalajara. The Media Park, in the city of Chapala, is another major hub.