Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

COVID-19

Mexico has suffered something of a setback in its emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic over the past month.  On the epidemiological traffic light system, Mexico City had reached green, or mild restrictions, as the beginning of the month only to return to the higher restrictions of the yellow level following the June 6 national elections.  The number of states at the orange or significant restriction level rose from one to five during the month, with reported increases in COVID cases particularly in tourist zones such as the Riviera Maya (Cancun), Yucatan and Baja California.  No PCR test or quarantine is required to enter Mexico for travelers arriving by air.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY

  • Same-store retail sales jumped 33.9% in May with respect to the same month last year, the National Retailers Association (ANTAD) reported. The size of the increase is due largely to the plunge in sales in May 2020 resulting from the initial COVID-19 lockdowns. (Reforma, June 11, 2021)
  • Mexico’s central bank Banco de México (Banxico) raised its projection of GDP growth to 6.0% for the current year, up from a previous estimate of 4.8%. The improved outlook is based on advances in COVID-19 vaccination, strong demand for exports and better than expected first quarter growth. (Citibanamex Reporte Económico Diario, June 3, 2021)
  • Remittances to Mexico from abroad through the first four months of the year are running 19.1% ahead of the same period last year, central bank Banco de México (Banxico) reported. Remittances are on track to post their strongest annual growth since 2005. (Milenio, June 1, 2021)

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY OF NOTE                                                                                             

  • Glass: Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, subsidiary of Belgium-based brewing multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced a major expansion of its glass bottle manufacturing plant in the eastern Gulf state of Veracruz. The US$150 million upgrade will include construction of a new furnace with three production lines, as well as the modernization of an existing furnace. (Reforma, June 30, 2021)
  • Logistics: Mexican motorcycle and parts distributor Motomex announced a US$10 million expansion of its distribution center in the northeastern state of San Luís Potosí. The company further revealed it is considering shifting assembly of tractors to the state as well. (Somos Industria, June 30, 2021)
  • Petroleum: Mexican oil and gas producer Jaguar reported plans to drill an onshore exploratory oil well in the southeastern state of Tabasco. The goal of the US$5.8 million drilling project is to obtain approximately 26 million barrels of light crude. (Directorio de la Industria Energética Mexicana, June 29, 2021)
  • Automotive: German auto parts maker ZF Group announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. Projected investment was not specified for the site, which is expected to produce advanced technology video cameras for use in electric cars and driverless heavy vehicles. (El Economista, June 23, 2021)
  • Electricity: Mexico’s government electricity utility the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) projected it will undertake US$2.4 billion in electricity infrastructure upgrades over the next four years. Projects will include new transmission and distribution lines and six new power plants at additional cost. (Reforma, June 18, 2021)
  • Power storage: IEnova, the Mexican subsidiary of U.S. natural gas utility Sempra Energy, will establish a large-scale battery bank to store electricity in the northern border city of Mexicali, the company reported. The cost was not specified for the site, which is planned to open in 2023 with initial installed capacity of 100 Mw to provide backup power for the U.S. state of California. (El Economista, June 22, 2021)
  • Industrial parks: Mexican commercial real estate developer BTS Development will construct a new industrial park in the Cuautitlán industrial zone outside Mexico City, the company reported. The US$50 million facility is part of a US$200 million program of investment in industrial infrastructure through 2024. (Mexico Industry, June 2024)
  • Green hydrogen: The Mexican Hydrogen Association (AMH) announced there is a combined US$3.5 billion in investment in green hydrogen projects under development in the country. Examples include a green ammonia plant for the production of fertilizers in Durango, a solar powered water electrolysis site to produce green hydrogen in Guanajuato, and additional green hydrogen applications for the cement industry, among others. (Reforma, June 22, 2021)
  • Shopping malls: Mexican commercial real estate developer Wollman Property Group is building a major new shopping center in the northeastern state of San Luís Potosí, the company reported. The US$2.3 billion development is projected to include 62 rentable retail spaces, as well as locations for restaurants and open areas. (América Retail, June 15, 2021)
  • Hotels: Mexican hotel operator Grupo Tafer is projecting investment of approximately US$640 million to expand operations over the next five years, the company reported. Plans include adding new hotel rooms and luxury apartments at properties in Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Cancun, among others. (Reforma, June 15, 2021)
  • Airports: Mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) plans investment of approximately US$206 million across its 12 Mexico airports this year, local media reported. Projects reportedly will include a second runway in Guadalajara, a new terminal building in Puerto Vallarta and infrastructure expansion at Los Cabos. (Real Estate Market & Lifestyle, June 15, 2021)
  • Logistics: U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon announced plans to construct three new shipping centers in Mexico in the near term. The company did not specify the cost of the new distribution sites, which are expected to be located in the states of Yucatán, Sonora and the State of Mexico. (El Diario de Chihuahua, June 7, 2021)
  • Industrial parks: Mexican commercial real estate developer Meor will build 11 new industrial parks in Mexico over the next year, intended to support the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry. Plans include a US$35 million site in the northern border city of Tijuana, as well as facilities in the industrial cities of Monterrey, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara and Mexico City, the company reported. (Reforma, June 10, 2021)
  • Manufacturing: Japanese-owned industrial components maker Sumitomo Drive Technologies began construction of a new manufacturing plant in the northeastern state of Nuevo León, the company reported. The US$50 million facility is expected to produce speed reducers for the mining, food processing and automotive industries. (Somos Industria, June 1, 2021)

POLITICS AND SOCIETY

  • U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Mexico June 7 for a meeting June 8 with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Vice President Harris also met with labor activists and academics during her visit. (Reforma, June 9, 2021)
  • Mexico held mid-term elections June 6 for the lower house of Congress as well as various state and local elected offices. Results were mixed for the ruling party Morena, which increased its governorships but failed to significantly expand its majority in the Chamber of Deputies. (Reforma, June 7, 2021)

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