Infrastructure market in Mexico
Canadian exports to Mexico in 2021
Jobs in Mexico’s Infrastructure sector
Infrastructure contribution to Mexico’s GDP
Expected investment in Infrastructure in 2021
Canada and Mexico are strategic trade andinvestment partners.
- Mexico is Canada’s top export destination in Latin America.
- In terms of overall bilateral trade, Mexico and Canada are each other’s third most important trading partner in the world. Two-way merchandise trade was $41.5 billion in 2021.
- Canada is the third largest investor in Mexico ($29 billion in 2020). Mexican Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in Canada in 2020 was $2.7 billion, up 2.4% from 2019.
Key opportunities for Canadian infrastructure companies in Mexico
- Mexico’s infrastructure projects at state level with a focus on transport (including railways, ports, airports), energy and environment.
- Private projects to be developed by the main private engineering/construction companies in Mexico. The private sector is expected to contribute up to 50% of the federal infrastructure plan. Canada’s successful experience in the development of public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Canada is an asset that can help generate collaboration and business opportunities with Mexico.
- Business opportunities for Canadian suppliers are mainly related to the use of advanced technologies and materials in construction and infrastructure projects (i.e. intelligent transportation systems, intelligent buildings with features including energy-efficient materials, security systems, telecommunications channels, and emergency systems).
Notable challenges for Canadian infrastructure companies in Mexico
- Mexico is a price-sensitive market.
- Mexico has a complex bidding process, and there are potential issues related to regulatory transparency.
- Uncertainty generated by initiatives implemented by the federal government in the energy sector.
Mexico’s business landscape
The construction industry in Mexico expanded by 7.2% in real terms in 2021, following a sharp contraction of 17.6% in 2020. The industry's growth last year was supported by an improvement in the domestic economy, the re-opening of key industries, and progress in the country's vaccination drive. This year, the construction industry is expected to continue expanding.
Mexico has announced interesting infrastructure projects at the federal and state levels in the following areas:
The anticipated total investment is Can$18.3 billion. Additionally, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is currently developing the following priority projects:
The Maya Train: Eco-touristic railway (1,470 km) connecting Cancún (Quintana Roo) and Palenque (Chiapas), and crossing the touristic zone of Tulum and Riviera Maya. Under the coordination of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR), the Maya Train is one of AMLO’s signature projects, with an estimated investment of US$6.3 to US$7.9 billion in public and private funds.
The Tehuantepec Isthmus Trade Railway: AMLO announced that US$5.22 billion will be allocated for this project, which aims to provide a logistics platform that will connect Asia with the East Coast of the U.S. (from Salina Cruz in the Gulf of Mexico to Coatzacoalcos in the Pacific). Planned infrastructure works include the following:
- Rehabilitating the cargo transportation railway line
- Modernization of the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos
- Creation of a new industrial port to complement the economic infrastructure of the area
- 10 industrial parks
- Expansion of the Salina Cruz-Coatzacoalcos highway
Oil refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco: According to the Mexican government, the refinery will have a processing capacity of 340 thousand barrels per day by applying high-energy efficiency technology.
Mexico is a natural and strategic market for Canadian companies. Between 1993 and 2018, total merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico grew almost 10-fold thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2020, a modernized NAFTA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)) entered into force between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., reinforcing economic integration within North America. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific, including Mexico. Also, Canada was the first non-Latin American country to sign a Joint Declaration on a Partnership with the Pacific Alliance aimed at long-term, multi-sectoral cooperation with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
One of the best ways of achieving success in Mexico is through cooperation with a solid local partner who can assist in assessing clients’ specific needs, and give access to the traditionally closed supply networks of the industry. The Trade Commissioner Service in Mexico will be ready to work with you and support your company’s business development efforts in the Mexican market.
For more information on infrastructure in the Mexican market, please contact Miguel González, Trade Commissioner for the Infrastructure, Oil & Gas and Electricity sectors in Mexico.
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