Baja California is a swell place to visit

CactusRepeat visitors to this space will know that this is not a travel blog.  We are much more likely to discuss natural gas pipelines than to wax about resorts and yoga on the beach at sunrise, preferring to leave those complicated topics to skilled specialists such as Cancun Canuck and Mexican at Heart.  Nonetheless, tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Mexican economy, so it is fair game.  With this in mind, we took advantage of the recent holiday period to head up to the state of Baja California Sur to do some research on two critically important market sectors: fish tacos and beer.  Our fieldwork revealed that Baja is a great place to visit!  And along the way, we also observed some interesting quirks about the local economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the past month:

  • Gasoline: Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission estimates removal of price controls on gasoline and diesel in 2017 will stimulate up to US$16 billion in new investment. Major projects are expected in new service stations, transport pipelines and storage infrastructure. (Reforma, December 22, 2016)
  • Recycling: The Mexico City municipal government published a tender for the first of two plants planned to use solid waste from the city’s landfills as fuel to produce electricity. Officials estimated approximately US$3.5 billion in investment will be required for the total project, which is intended to provide electricity for the local Metro public transport system. (El Universal, December 13, 2016)
  • Rail: Mexican mining conglomerate and rail transport operator Grupo Mexico plans investment of approximately US$431 to support the operations of its rail transport subsidiaries Ferromex, Ferrosur and Intermodal, the company reported. Upgrades include acquisition of new locomotives, replacement of rail and ties and other infrastructure improvements. (Outlet Minero, December 14, 2016)
  • Retail: Japanese clothing and home products retailer Miniso is preparing to open its first store in Mexico before the close of 2016 via investment of US$3 million, the company’s Mexico franchise operator reported. The franchisee projects opening up to 100 Miniso stores in Mexico over the next five years. (Reforma, December 13, 2016)
  • Metal forming: SPM Auto Parts, a joint venture between Japan’s Mizuno Tekkosho and Korea’s Sunil Dyfas, inaugurated a new production facility in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. The US$16 million plant will produce precision screws and bolts for regional automotive OEMs such as KIA, Nissan, Honda, General Motors and Toyota. (Notimex, December 7, 2016)
  • Financial services: Spanish financial services multinational Grupo Financiero Santander plans investment of approximately US$750 million in Mexico operations over the next three years, the company announced.  Resources will support upgrading of software and systems, retail banking branches and introduction of new products, among other areas.  (Expansión, December 8, 2016)
  • Food processing: Mexican industrial miller and tortilla producer Gruma announced plans to build a new production facility in the southeastern state of Puebla. The US$50 million site is planned to produce tortillas and tostadas under the Mission brand. (Reforma, December 1, 2016)
  • Automotive: Korean auto parts maker Hanwha Advanced Materials inaugurated a new production plant in the northeastern state of Nuevo León, the state government reported. The US$20 million site will produce components for a new Kia Motors OEM manufacturing facility in the area.  (Milenio, December 1, 2016)

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South Korea and Mexico eye trade pact as Trump looms

Thanks to BDP Managing Partner José A. Jiménez for contributing the following post

mexico-koreaNow that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been, for all practical purposes, ditched by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, a wait-and-see phase has begun regarding what will happen to U.S. foreign trade policy once Mr. Trump assumes power on January 20, 2017 — particularly his threats to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, and impose prohibitive tariffs on imports from China.  With this backdrop, Mexico and South Korea have pledged to move forward with the trade negotiations begun by the TPP and establish a formal trade agreement between the two countries.

On her visit to Mexico in April 2016, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated their support for integration into the then expected TTP and signed a 17-point memorandum of understanding with the aim of strengthening bilateral economic relations.  The cooperation agreements signed cover areas such as clean energy, technology, law enforcement, telemedicine and tourism, among others. The two countries further announced two new lines of credit, one for US$1 billion for electrical infrastructure development and another for US$200 million to finance Mexican suppliers of Korean industries. Read the rest of this entry »

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The new gas stations are here

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They’re heeere

One morning not long ago we were on our way to work at the Mexico Business Blog Global Campus when we strolled by the Pemex station and immediately did a cartoon double-take: The Pemex gas station was no longer Pemex!  It was still a gas station, yes, but the grungy, dinged up Pemex livery had now been replaced by sparkling new green and yellow Hidrosina logos and signs.  We could not help but to stop and gawk.  All our lives, all gas stations (or petrol stations, if you prefer) in Mexico were Pemex stations.  The Pemex station has long ranked among the most recognizable icons of Mexican popular culture – the place where you can fill up your tank, and go to the bathroom if you dare.  At that seminal moment, on the corner of Insurgentes and Av. Yucatán, a piece of our childhood died, and we were nearly brought to tears.  Those tears, however, would have been tears of joy, since the demise of the Pemex monopoly may be the most thrilling public policy to hit Mexico since, well, maybe since the energy industry was nationalized in 1938. Read the rest of this entry »

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Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the past month:

  • Motorcycles: Italian vehicle maker Piaggio plans to introduce its Vespa brand of scooters in the Mexican market. The company will invest US$3 million to open seven Vespa agencies in the coming months in conjunction with Mexican distributor Grupo Zapata, the latter company reported. (El Financiero, November 30, 2016)
  • Retail: Mexican developers Thor Urbana and Grupo Orlegi announced plans to build a major shopping center complex in the northern state of Coahuila. The US$90 million site will be constructed as an adjunct to the soccer stadium home to the popular Santos Laguna club of the Mexican soccer league. (El Financiero, November 30, 2016)
  • Hotels: Mexican hotel operator Grupo Posadas inaugurated three new hotels in the northeastern city of Monterrey at a cost of approximately US$60 million, the company reported. The new properties are designed with aspects specifically targeting the millennial market, according to Posadas. (El Financiero, November 25, 2016)
  • Wind power: Unnamed investors will finance the construction of a 40MW wind energy generation plant in the central state of Querétaro, the state government announced. The US$40 million project is planned to include 40 generation turbines. (El Financiero, November 25, 2016)
  • Construction materials: Mexican flooring manufacturer Interceramic initiated construction on a new production plant in the central state of Guanajuato. The US$80 million factory will become the company’s 10th in Mexico. (Obras Web, November 25, 2016)
  • Biofuel: Mexican engineering firm Soluciones en Ingeniería Naval Marina y Terrestre has obtained a permit to construct a biofuel refinery in the eastern state of Veracruz, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) reported. The cost was not specified for the new facility, which is planned to produce 120 million liters annually of ETI01 ethanol. (El Financiero, November 25, 2016) Read the rest of this entry »

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