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A forum to introduce Tijuana to the world

Sunday, September 19, 2010 at midnight

 

No fewer than eight out of 10 news items in the U.S. media regarding Tijuana are bad news reports. Everyone reads that there are drug cartel gangs in Tijuana but, as one of many examples, how many know that Los Angeles is the gang capital of the United States? That’s because it’s not media daily fodder as is the Tijuana and Mexico gang coverage.

So it’s not surprising that San Diegans find it difficult to accept that Tijuana is an international powerhouse and Mexico’s fourth most populated city. Much of San Diego’s international business community is aware of Tijuana’s significance, but the public is not and has a mindset running contrary to the reality of the size and scope of Tijuana’s achievements and impact, not just on San Diego, but throughout the United States, Canada and numerous other countries.

This may take readers to the heart of the issue: All heart valves inserted during surgery, keeping thousands of Americans alive, are made in Tijuana. As for outer space, Tijuana hosted the First International Aerospace Suppliers Forum in 2010 and will host the second in 2011. The first forum generated $200 million in contracts. Its success prompted the British Government’s Trade & Investment Body, the United Kingdom’s defense associations and ILA, the world’s oldest aerospace show, to agree to collaborate on the next event. Among 34 aerospace firms located in Baja California are Honeywell, Gulfstream, Rockwell Collin, Lockheed Martin and Crissair.

Many have heard that Tijuana was the television assembly capital of the world, though it has since lost that position to China. Not many know that China is planning major investments in Baja California with Tijuana as a principal location to bring back television production and assembly there. Tijuana has automobile manufacturing as well. A coming Chinese-brand automobile manufacturing and assembly plant will join Toyota, which assembles part of the Tacoma line of pickups in Tijuana.

More than 60 medical product manufacturers in Tijuana make it a major player in that sector. Global consumer electronic product companies such as JVC, Panasonic, Sony, Tyco, Sanyo, GE, Samsung and Hyundai have major plants in Tijuana. So do almost 600 companies making furniture, toys, truck bodies and other products.

Consumers wanting quality but affordable dental work often turn to Tijuana. So do people seeking generic medicines or Lasik eye surgery. But not many know about heart surgery that can cost $20,000 at an excellent hospital with highly qualified surgeons – a savings of $75,000 to $80,000 from comparable care in the United States. Sadly, the American press tends to report only those few cases in which a surgery went wrong or the doctor was not qualified.

Not many know about the Tijuana restaurant row where gourmet Argentinian, Brazilian, Chinese, French, Japanese and exquisite Mexican dishes are offered in fine restaurants. Nor is it common knowledge that various chic shopping malls dot neighborhoods close to the border with a variety of stores offering domestic and foreign goods.

It is small wonder that finally a group of Tijuana business leaders, community activists and philanthropists led by Jose Galicot have decided that enough is enough. It is time to show the world what Tijuana is really all about.

Galicot’s idea will materialize in a two-week forum, Oct. 7-21, called Innovating Tijuana, or Tijuana Innovadora. Sponsors say they have invited former Vice President Al Gore; economist Robert Aumann, a Nobel Prize winner; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia; Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter; entrepreneur Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man; Paul Jacobs, head of San Diego’s Qualcomm; television personality Larry King and others.

In addition to the conference events, Tijuana will display its tremendous advances in every field – science, medicine, aerospace, the arts and even cuisine (remember, it was in Tijuana where Caesar’s salad was created).

So, come on San Diegans, let’s get behind Tijuana and be a part of the city’s coming-out party.

Osio is the editor of HispanicVista.com and co-founder of TransBorder Communications, dedicated to binational economic development. He can be contacted at Posio@aol.com.


Published Sunday, September 19, 2010 1:17 PM by Kanoa Biondolillo

Comments

# re: A forum to introduce Tijuana to the world

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:48 PM by Real Estate Vietnam

Thanks for sharing this very interesting facts about Tijuana. We are all looking forward for what they can contribute to us.

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