Regional Economic Development, Competitiveness and Public Policy

Dr. Ramiro Esqueda Walle
Professor-Researcher at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas
President of the Association of Economists and Specialists of Tamaulipas


Regional economic development plays a crucial role in promoting overall economic growth and prosperity within a country. It involves deliberate efforts and strategies aimed at enhancing the economic performance of specific regions or areas within a nation. In the case of Mexico, a country known for its diverse regional characteristics, regional economic development is of paramount importance. This work explores the concept of regional economic development, the significance of competitiveness in regional economies, and key public policies that can be implemented to promote its improvement in Mexico.

Understanding Regional Economic Development

Regional economic development refers to the process of fostering economic growth, investment, and job creation in specific geographic areas within a country. It recognizes the unique strengths, resources, and potential of each region and aims to capitalize on them to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. The goal is to reduce regional disparities, enhance productivity, and improve the standard of living for residents in targeted regions.

The Significance of Competitiveness in Regional Economies

Competitiveness is a crucial factor in driving regional economic development. A competitive region is characterized by a favorable business environment, robust infrastructure, a skilled labor force, innovation, and access to markets. These factors attract investments, promote entrepreneurship, and stimulate economic activities, leading to job creation and income growth. Enhancing the competitiveness of regional economies in Mexico is essential to harness the full potential of each region and foster balanced development across the country.

Key Public Policies for Promoting Regional Economic Development in Mexico

While there are several actions that are prioritized in the short term, some strategies to promote regional economic development in Mexico are:

i. Infrastructure Development: Investing in infrastructure, such as transportation networks, energy systems, and digital connectivity, is vital for promoting regional economic development. Improving transportation links, expanding access to reliable energy, and enhancing broadband connectivity can reduce transportation costs, attract investments, and facilitate the flow of goods, services, and information.

ii. Human Capital Development: Investing in education and skills development is critical for enhancing the competitiveness of regional economies. By providing quality education and vocational training programs tailored to the needs of local industries, regions can build a skilled workforce capable of meeting the demands of a changing economy. Additionally, promoting lifelong learning initiatives and fostering research and development can drive innovation and enhance productivity.

iii. Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs are the backbone of regional economies. Implementing policies that facilitate access to finance, technology, and markets for SMEs can unleash their potential and contribute significantly to regional economic development. Measures such as creating business incubators, providing financial incentives, and offering technical assistance can help SMEs thrive and generate employment opportunities.

iv. Regional Innovation Systems: Developing regional innovation ecosystems is crucial for fostering competitiveness and promoting economic diversification. Establishing research and development centers, innovation clusters, and technology transfer mechanisms can stimulate collaboration between academia, industry, and government. This collaboration can facilitate the creation and diffusion of new technologies, products, and services, driving economic growth and competitiveness at the regional level.

v. Promoting Sustainable Development: Integrating environmental sustainability into regional economic development strategies is essential for long-term success. Implementing policies that promote clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmentally friendly practices can not only enhance competitiveness but also contribute to mitigating climate change and preserving natural resources.


By recognizing the unique characteristics and potential of each region and implementing targeted public policies, Mexico can promote balanced and sustainable development across the country. Infrastructure development, human capital investment, support for SMEs, regional innovation systems, and sustainable development initiatives are crucial pillars for improving regional economic development in Mexico. Through concerted effort and collaboration between government, the private sector, and civil society, Mexico can unlock the full potential of its regions and achieve inclusive and prosperous economic growth.

For a deeper understanding of the topics, it is recommended to read the following open access publications by the author of this article:

Esqueda-Walle, R. y Rangel, L. (coords.) (2021). Desarrollo económico regional en México: Retos contemporáneos. Ed. UAAAN/Lagares. México. Se puede observar también en ResearchGate

Esqueda-Walle, R., Rangel, L. y Mendoza, L. (2021). Análisis de la competitividad regional-municipal: propuesta y aplicación metodológica. En Esqueda-Walle, R. y Rangel, L. (coords.),“Desarrollo económico regional en México: Retos contemporáneos”, pp. 13-35. Ed. UAAAN/Lagares. México. Se puede observar también en ResearchGate

Esqueda-Walle, R. (2017). El desarrollo, la competitividad y la globalización en el contexto regional: aproximación y vínculos. En: “Desarrollo económico regional: teoría y casos de estudio”. pp. 11-37. Esqueda, R. (Coord.). Ed. Lagares-UAT. México. Se puede observar también en ResearchGate

Esqueda-Walle, R. & Trejo, A. (2014). Desarrollo local, competitividad y apertura económica en Tamaulipas. Región y Sociedad, Vol. 26 (59), pp. 113-150. 10.22198/rys.2014.59.a75. Se puede observar también en ResearchGate