Mexico got some good economic news this week on two fronts as new international surveys showed the nation moved into the world’s top 10 tourism countries and also boosted its ranking for U.S. foreign investment.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said Mexico had moved back into its list of the 10 most visited countries in the world. This is very good news, since tourism accounts for more than 8 percent of Mexico’s GDP. By contrast, oil accounts for only about 6 percent of GDP.
In this sense, increasingly the tourism sector becomes vitally important for the country, especially in a context of a strong dollar and weaker oil market. That is why the news released a few days ago by the UNWTO is so well received by officials and policy makers.
While the potential of Mexico’s tourism sector is amazing, challenges remain to ensure that the country fully exploits this potential, especially in terms of infrastructure, such as the completion of a new airport in Mexico City, which will serve precisely to expand new routes and attract tourists for many nontraditional markets.
Meanwhile, Mexico went from sixth to fifth place among the top destinations chosen by American investors in the Latin world, revealed a survey conducted by the consulting firm AT Kearney.
In 2015, America contributed 63% of the $28 billion dollars of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) captured by the Mexican economy.
“Companies in the region continue to rely on Mexico,” said Ricardo Haneine, leader of AT Kearney partner in Mexico.
However, in the same survey, Mexico fell out of the rankings of the top 25 destinations selected by companies from Europe and Asia, where it held positions of 18 and 23 respectively last year. The poll surveyed 504 companies with more than $500 million USD annual revenue and with headquarters in 27 countries.
Federico Serrano, president of the National Council of the Maquiladora and Export Manufacturing Industry (Index), predicted that US companies will maintain the same level of investment in the manufacturing sector in Mexico in 2016, compared to last year.
He also announced that the Business Coordination (CCE) and the American Chamber of Commerce Council agreed to conduct an investigation to determine the operational and logistical inefficiencies in the crossing of goods between Mexico and the United States.
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