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Information provided by the Mexico Trade Commission-ProMexico’s New York Office.

Mexico’s economy will keep growing at moderate to strong pace

According to The Conference Board, an American private group devoted to economic analysis, the Mexican economy is very likely to keep growing at a moderate to strong pace. The Conference Board has estimated this based on economic indicators for Mexico corresponding to December 2007. In a press release, it was announced that the anticipated index for Mexico dropped 0.2%, while the coincidental index suffered no changes last December. “Recent behavior both by the anticipated index and the coincidental index up to now, suggest that it is very likely that the economy will continue to grow at a moderate to strong pace in the short term”.

The Conference Board has said that the growth rate of the anticipated index during the six month term which finished last December remained 3.9% (around an 8% annual rate), more or less the same as the average growth rate in mid 2007. It points out that after a slight drop in the second half of 2006; the anticipated index has grown at a constant pace since the end of the first quarter of 2007.

US$2.638 billion to be invested in industrial parks in Mexico

Industrial park developers announced that they will invest $2.638 billion U.S. dollars during 2008 in reserves, facilities expansion, urbanization and construction of industrial parks in Mexico. According to Claudia Avila Conelly, General Director of Mexican Industrial Parks Association (Asociación Mexicana de Parques Industriales (AMPIP), this funding is 70% higher than the investment made last year, which amounted to US$1.5 billion.

The trend in the construction of this type of real estate, she said, will depend on market conditions and foreign investment arriving in Mexico, even though she recognizes that the north border has been a lot more dynamic, especially with the arrival of anchor companies in suppliers’ parks.

Aerospace industry giant interested in bringing new business to Mexico

EADS, the conglomerate of companies in the aerospace and defense industries, is interested in installing some of their business areas in Mexico, motivating their suppliers to do the same.

“Mexico has never had such positive conditions to foster the aeronautics industry. We think this is the country where we may develop EADS; there are several projects currently being analyzed, and we are considering the possibility of manufacturing some parts in Mexico”, assured Frederic Garcia, EADS international General Director and President of EADS Telecom Mexico, while participating in the International Air and Space Tradeshow 2008 held from March 31 to April 6 in Santiago, Chile.

GE generates more employment in Mexico

General Electric Infrastructure Queretaro expanded its engineering center, specialized in the design of airplane turbines and ecologic energy generation turbines. This expansion will generate around 600 jobs for Mexican engineers recently graduated from different colleges, the Company’s officers said. Around 1,050 engineers in the aeronautics industry are currently working in the Queretaro plant.

“This project not only means employment generation, but also the development of technology in Mexico”, said President Felipe Calderon in the Center’s inauguration. Giovanni Aloi Timeuz, Director of GE Energy in Mexico said that they will focus on making the space industry evolve. One of their planned improvements is the new GX turbine, “designed by a team of more than 120 engineers. The new GX turbine will achieve a 20% reduction in fuel and is also less noisy”. Mexico’s aeronautics sector generated around 20,000 jobs and contributed to Mexico’s exports with US$2.6 billion.

General Electric is planning to invest US$100 million in Mexico this year.


GM planning to invest US$900 million in Coahuila

General Motors, the automotive giant, continues to invest heavily in Coahuila. As one of the company’s most important production centers in North America, GM is preparing an investment for an estimated US$900 million in its Ramos Arizpe Complex.

Because General Motors is planning to offer a new generation of cars throughout its several brands, sources say that even if the Ramos Arizpe Complex recently received a US$500 million investment to assemble new models, it requires more to update tools and several other components.

In addition, the Ramos Arizpe Complex will have the honor of being the first plant in Mexico where a hybrid vehicle is assembled, namely the Saturn VUE Green Line, which is a version of the Chevrolet Captiva in the US market.

US$500 million will be invested in ethanol for Bio fuels production

The sugar industry could invest more than US$500 million in the installation of ethanol plants in Mexico before 2010, assured Juan Cortina Gallardo, Chairman of the Mexican Chamber of Sugar and Alcohol Industry, (Camara Nacional de la Industria Azucarera y Alcoholera (CNIAA).

He said that with the Bio-fuels Promotion and Development Law, published in the Federation’s Official Gazette last February, conditions are set to offer certainty to investors. This announcement comes a few days before the Federal Government discloses its plan for the industry.

Cortina Gallardo is confident that with the 57 sugar-mills in Mexico, this industry could be strengthened and therefore meet fuel demands in the country. He assured that far from affecting food supply for human consumption, there is a surplus in sugar production of over one million 200 thousand tons per year, which would allow price regulation in the market. He further disclosed that there is a project in Sinaloa to produce ethanol from corn; however, he said there are some other crops with which bio-fuels production could be increased.

CMHN estimates more than US$23 billion in investment in Mexico for 2008

The Private Sector is planning to make an investment for US$23,663 billion in 2008, declared Claudio X. Gonzalez, Chairman of the Mexican Businessmen Council, (Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios (CMHN) **.

González pointed out that the investment they are planning for this year will generate direct jobs for 1.3 million people.

Before President Felipe Calderon, Mr. Gonzalez said that the investment forecasted for 2008 is 2.7 times larger than that made in 2000, amounting to US$8.5 billion. He also said that CMHN had suspended this type of estimate during the previous Administration due to the little trust they had in said previous Administration.

**CMHN gathers 36 companies and businessmen, including names such as Emilio Azcarraga, Carlos Slim Domit, Antonio del Valle, Valentin Diez Morodo, Gaston Azcarraga, Roberto Hernandez, Bernardo Quintana, Federico Terrazas, Agustin Franco, Alfredo Achar, among others.


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