Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the last month:

COVID-19

The epidemiological conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico continue to improve slowly but steadily.  According to the most recent version of the national traffic light system used to indicate the level of alert and restrictions on business activities and mobility, six Mexican states are now at green, or no restrictions, while 20 are at yellow or low restriction.  Mexico City remains at orange, denoting a relatively high rate of alert, however the city appears to be operating fairly normally albeit with widespread mask use and social distancing.  Approximately 10% of Mexicans have received at least one vaccination shot, compared with over 40% in the United States.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY

  • Same-store retail sales rose 6.5% year-on-year in March, the highest monthly increase since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the National Retailers Association (ANTAD) reported. Ten out of the past 12 months reported year-on-year declines. (Reforma, April 13, 2021)
  • Remittances to Mexico from abroad increased at an annualized rate of 16.2% in February, the tenth straight month of positive growth. Nonetheless, February remittances represent a slight weakening from January’s figures. (Citibanamex Reporte Económico Diario, April 6, 2021)
  • Mexico’s Finance Ministry (SHCP) raised its projection of 2021 GDP growth to 5.3% in consideration of the ongoing vaccination efforts. The Ministry also cited rising oil prices and general economic improvement at the global level for helping to improve Mexico’s outlook. (El Economista, March 31, 2021)

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY OF NOTE                                                                                             

  • Banks: Spanish financial services multinational Grupo Financiero Santander is projecting upcoming investment in Mexico of approximately US$500 million, the company reported. Projects will include upgrades to bank branch infrastructure, automatic teller machines, digital infrastructure and cibersecurity. (Reforma, April 29, 2021)
  • Construction materials: Mexican construction materials maker Panel Rey reported plans to double production capacity at its manufacturing plant in the northern border city of Ciudad Juárez. The amount of investment was not specified for the upgrade, which is slated to include expansion of the gypsum board production line, as well as the addition of new state-of-the-art production lines for compounds and galvanized steel structural profiles. (El Diario, April 29, 2021)
  • Wind power: Italian renewable energy developer Enel Green Power inaugurated a wind energy park in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. The US$290 million electricity generation plant has projected capacity of 938 GWh/yr. (Reforma, April 27, 2021)
  • Food & beverage: Mexican beverage bottler and savory snack maker Arca Continental is projecting investment of approximately US$210 million in Mexico operations this year, the company reported. Resources will support increasing production and distribution capacity, as well as upgrading digital infrastructure and sustainability measures. (Reforma, April 16, 2021)
  • Packaging: Swiss packaging manufacturer SIG Combibloc announced plans to construct a new production plant in the central state of Querétaro. The US$48 million facility is expected to produce carton packaging for the growing Mexican dairy industry. (Canadian Packaging, April 16, 2021)
  • Manufacturing: U.S. manufacturing process components maker Heat and Control will build a new production plant in the western state of Jalisco, the company reported. Investment was not specified for the new site, which is expected to produce equipment for Mexican food processing operations. (Metrópoli, April 14, 2021)
  • Chemicals: Norwegian fertilizer manufacturer Yara inaugurated a new distribution center in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. The US$15 million facility – the company’s fifth in Mexico – will increase availability of Yara’s complete product line to agricultural operations in the central and northeastern region of the country. (Reforma, April 15, 2021)
  • Industrial gas: British industrial and medical gas multinational Linde announced it will construct a new carbon dioxide plant in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. The facility is expected to supply CO2 to the domestic food and beverage industries. (El Financiero, April 7, 2021)
  • Food processing: Swiss processed foods giant Nestlé will upgrade its manufacturing plant in the southern state of Chiapas at a projected cost of US$15 million, the company reported. The project includes implementing a new packaging line and latest-generation digital process technology to optimize production of the company’s Coffee Mate product. (Reforma, April 9, 2021)
  • Medicinal oxygen: Cryoinfra, a division of Mexican industrial conglomerate Grupo Infra, reported plans to expand capacity for the production of medicinal oxygen at its plant in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. The US$20 million upgrade will allow the facility to respond to increased demand for the product among Mexico’s hospitals and for home patient care due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Expansión, April 9, 2021)
  • Food processing: Mexican diary products giant Grupo Lala announced plans to enter the processed meats market via investment of US$60 million. The new line will target the mid-range product niche with various types of hams and sausages. (América Economía, April 6, 2021)
  • E-commerce: Argentinian e-commerce portal MercadoLibre is projecting investment of approximately US$1.1 billion during the current year, the company reported. Resources are earmarked for strengthening logistics capabilities, doubling warehouse space, widening the company’s financial services footprint and expanding product offerings, among other initiatives. (Ideas de Negocios, April 6, 2021)
  • Logistics: Mexican courier and freight transport operator Traxión reported plans to invest approximately US$100 million to bolster operations in the country this year. Projects include expanding the vehicle fleet and investing heavily in technology to improve coordination and efficiency of operations across divisions. (Reforma, March 15, 2021)
  • Electronics: PAS Appliance Systems, a Mexican subsidiary of German industrial electronics manufacturer PAS Group, reported plans to establish its third Mexico plant most likely in the central state of Querétaro. Investment was not specified for the new site, which is planned to produce electrical harnesses and assemblies for home appliances. (Somos Industria, April 1, 2021)

POLITICS AND SOCIETY

  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador used his brief speaking time at U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate change summit to talk up Mexico’s newly discovered petroleum deposits and seek funding and visas from the U.S. for a tree-planting proposal. López Obrador’s climate policies were criticized during the program by a Mexican student climate activist who also spoke at the event. (Reforma, April 23, 2021)
  • The Mexican Senate voted to create a national registry of personal data required for all mobile telephone lines. Governing-party supporters argued the data base will help authorities investigate crimes, while opponents raised concerns over risks to personal data privacy. (Forbes, April 13, 2021)

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