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Chapter | Transport & Logistics from The Report: Mexico 2019

Both the current and previous administrations have shown a commitment to updating and expanding the capacity of the transport system. Nevertheless the country is facing increasing overcapacity at its ports, rural roads remain unpaved and developers are struggling to find suitable locations for new warehouses. Certain segments face specific challenges, notably in terms of security concerns for road freight. With rising domestic consumption and a growing manufacturing sector, demand for Mexico’s transport network appears set to rise further over the medium and long term. Therefore, addressing these challenges and charting a clear policy path, one that combines public investment with policies designed to increased private sector involvement in transport, will be necessary for the ongoing growth of the sector. This chapter contains interviews with Aby Lijtszain Chernizky, Executive President, Grupo Traxión; and José Zozaya, CEO, Kansas City Southern México.

Chapter | Capital Markets from The Report: Mexico 2019

After several years of innovation – notably the advent of new investment vehicles and the arrival of a second bourse – alongside the change in government at the end of 2018, the coming years are likely to be characterised by consolidation. Domestically, uncertainty around sectoral policies – specifically in energy, infrastructure and banking – of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador may introduce periodic volatility in the securities of those sectors. Despite the many strengths of Mexico’s capital markets, subdued economic activity and falling inflation open the possibility for the central bank to ease interest rates in 2020. This chapter contains an interview with José-Oriol Bosch Par, CEO, Mexican Stock Exchange.

Chapter | Agriculture from The Report: Mexico 2019

Since 2013 Mexico has achieved significant agricultural export growth, reversing a trade deficit in agricultural products that almost reached $5bn in 2012. In the years ahead Mexico’s government will continue to support existing agricultural activity while also looking for new ways to address inequality between large-scale mechanised farms and small-scale family-run growers, as well as regional differences in agricultural growth. Agri-business firms in the north have demonstrated their ability to tap into export markets over the past decade, but many companies still require support in the form of irrigation infrastructure, technical assistance and trade agreements. Although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will have the opportunity to implement these policies before his term in office ends in 2024, federal and state government agencies, alongside private firms, will need to consolidate and boost Mexico’s existing export sectors and help producers attract more international buyers.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Mexico 2019

Despite significant progress in recent years, Mexico’s ICT sector faces certain challenges. While the 2013 reforms opened the market up to competition and investment, legislation still needs to be improved so that Mexico can fully take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy. GSMA recommends Mexico build more municipal-level antennae, lower annual spectrum fees and incentivise infrastructure development. However, the government’s efforts are primarily directed at improving mobile data and broadband internet coverage. In a show of confidence, foreign tech giants are expanding operations in Mexico. With demand for ICT services on the rise, Mexico holds exciting opportunities for foreign and local investors. If the government can keep up the reformist momentum, incentivise investment, and craft enabling laws and regulations, companies will be able to provide a more robust technology offering. This chapter contains an interview with Desmond Mullarkey, President, SAP México.

Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Mexico 2019

Over the past decade, Mexico’s tourism industry has shown steady expansion, growing every year since 2011 despite security concerns and travel warnings. The 41.4m tourists that visited Mexico in 2018 reflect a 5.5% increase from the number of visitors in 2017, when the government estimated 39m foreign tourists entered the country. Tourists are increasingly venturing out of the traditional tourist centres – Mexico City, the Mayan Riviera with Cancún as the star attraction, Riviera Nayarit with Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos – to visit the up-and-coming destinations of Campeche, Yucatán and Oaxaca. Meanwhile, steadily increasing investment in popular resorts reflects the strength of Mexico’s beach tourism. Greater demand for business travel alongside niche alternatives such as ecotourism and cultural heritage visits also demonstrates the continued potential of the tourism industry. This chapter contains an interview with Miguel Torruco Marqués, Minister of Tourism.

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Mexico 2019

Chastened by a credit boom and bust during the first half of the 1990s, the authorities have reformed, liberalised and privatised the banking sector while ensuring strong regulatory oversight and, in turn, relatively conservative lending practices. This explains, in part, the small size of the sector as well as the low levels of financial inclusion across the country. While the banking sector serves large corporations and the middle class relatively well, many smaller – and particularly informal – businesses struggle to access credit, and almost half of the 125.9m-strong population that lives in poverty have limited access to financial services. The authorities’ efforts to boost financial inclusion and improve financial literacy are beginning to bear fruit, however, with bank accounts becoming more ubiquitous and consumer credit levels picking up. This chapter contains an interview with Alejandro Díaz de León, Governor, Banco de México; and Carlos Serrano, Chief Economist, BBVA México.