San Diego, Imperial County and Baja California should promote itself as a powerful economic “mega-region,” according to a report delivered Wednesday to members of the City Council .

The report from the CaliBaja Binational Mega-Region, an initiative started six years ago, also suggested helping businesses to expand opportunities to pool regional capabilities.

The recommendations were delivered to a joint meeting of the San Diego City Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the Tijuana City Council Commission on Economic Development.

The report touted San Diego’s economy, educated workforce and academic institutions, Imperial County’s renewable energy sources, water and large tracts of developable land, and Baja California’s manufacturing capacity, relatively cheap labor and steady supply of engineers.

The mega-region initiative is made up of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp., Tijuana Economic Development Corp., Industrial Development Commission of Mexicali, Tecate Economic Promotion Commission and Ensenada Economic Development Commission.

In remarks before the meeting, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said there was a “great momentum” of collaboration between officials on both sides of the border.

Among recent developments cited by the mayor were improvements at border crossings, including additional traffic lanes at San Ysidro.

“The San Ysidro border crossing is key to the economic health of the San Diego region and represents an incredibly important link for thousands of people to access jobs and opportunities,” Faulconer said. “We’re making great headway in reducing border wait times.”

He said a new pedestrian border crossing will be completed in two years, and city officials were working to reduce truck congestion on streets in border neighborhoods.

– City News Service

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