Latin America is a vast region that covers every country below the US southern border, formed by 20 developing economies led by Brazil and Mexico, both with a GDP of over a trillion dollars. Most of these countries share the same language (except Brazil) and have similar traditions tracing back to their history as Spanish colonies. Latin America is one of the most promising developing regions, and its proximity to the US provides a privileged advantage in business given that both regions share time zones.

For decades, economic growth in the region kept a steady pace that depended mainly on traditional industries such as mining and agriculture, becoming well known in developed countries for providing low-cost manufacturing. However, in the last few years, Latin America experienced an exponential technological growth that propelled its software and hardware industries to unimagined levels, becoming the preferred region for venture capitalists (VCs) from all over the world seeking to invest in new local tech companies.

Back in 2017, Latina America had only two unicorns: Mercado Libre and Despegar. Four years later, in 2021, that number jumped to 34. By the end of february 2022, it rose to 42. Brazil leads the board with 21, followed by Argentina (8) and Mexico (7).

According to Crunchbase, in 2021, VC investors poured an estimated US$19.5 billion into Latin American technology startups and late-stage companies, helping some reach unicorn status and enter hyper-growth mode. Experts believe that VCs are becoming better at identifying tech companies tackling very specific but impactful pain points in Central and South American society. VCs are pursuing new opportunities outside of traditional markets, and Latin America is becoming a center of gravity for them, with 2022 aiming to break the previous year’s record.

Latin America experienced an exponential technological growth that propelled its software and hardware industries to unimagined levels

One of the main results from this wave of VC investments is a significant rise in technical talent, specifically in software development. Year over year, the number of software engineers in Latin America grows at a faster rate. Brazil alone produces 227,000 STEM graduates per year, while Mexico provides 130,000 engineers and technicians each year.

According to Stack Overflow, there are over 1 million senior software engineers in the region, with a high number of them having previous experience working remotely for US companies. In parallel, the number of junior and mid-level developers is quickly becoming the main pool of software talent, creating a new era in the nearshore industry.

One of the most impressive aspects of this new tech revolution is the diversity of technologies and specializations we see from these talented engineers. You can find developers on virtually every technology there is. From well-established languages to top-end new tech stacks, you’ll find the person you are looking for.

Some of the most common technologies looked for by US corporations that are readily available in Latin America are PHP, .NET, RoR, Python and Node.js for backend; Javascript frameworks and libraries like React.js, Vue.js and Angular for frontend; React Native, Flutter, Swift and Java for mobile development; and a wide spectrum of blockchain technologies, among resources like QA, DevOps, UX/UI designers and Scrum Masters, to name a few.

The software industry allows everyone to participate, no matter their background or location.

The connected world we live in today equalizes access to the newest technologies allowing people to learn from where they are and at their own pace. Software developers are not limited to traditional education; and although computer science programs at top universities are greatly valuable, software developers are also acquiring and growing their coding knowledge through software, developer communities, mentoring, online learning, collaboration and real life projects. The software industry allows everyone to participate, no matter their background or location.

A way to find these developers across the region is by looking at software development agencies. These agencies are constantly hiring and training developers to assign them to remote projects, mainly in the US, but also locally. The agency provides them with office space and equipment, as well as constant training on new technologies; they even offer English courses.

Software development agencies have become tech hubs that allow developers to help each other and share knowledge while helping US clients find great talent quickly and without dealing with overhead expenses. We call software developers that are part of an agency “Agency Developers”, as they separate themselves from freelancers and independent contractors given the factors mentioned above, as well as the commitment and accountability of being part of a company.

These agencies can be located in every Latin American country. They range from small to midsize companies, with 5 to over a 100 developers working in-house as specialists on specific technologies or a wide open tech stack. Most software developer agencies are founded by technical entrepreneurs that chose to start their own businesses and hire more developers as they grew. They are used to handling all the aspects of a project, building a product from scratch or assigning their developers to full-time remote positions to be managed by the client directly.

High-paying jobs generate a huge positive economic impact on the life of these developers, their families and their communities

Some of these agencies have grown to have over 500 developers and are well-positioned as leaders in the nearshore industry. In this particular parameter, Mexico has an advantage over other countries in the region, as business trips are faster and meeting the team in person is less complicated.

Costs are another solid advantage of hiring developers from Latin America. Agency Developers in the reigion work for a salary around 50% lower than an American developer with similar experience. While this might sound like they’re underpaid, such salaires can be double or even triple the average wage in Central and South America. These high-paying jobs generate a huge positive economic impact on the life of these developers, their families and their communities while incentivizing more people in the region to pursue technical careers.

To provide an example of the rates that you can find for Agency Developers, here are some average monthly salaries in Latin America:

  • Senior Developer (5+ years of experience): US$6,000-US$8,000 a month, or US$37.5-US$50 USD an hour.
  • Mid-level Developer (3+ years of experience): US$4,000-$6,000 a month, or US$25-US$37.5 an hour.
  • Junior Developer, Integrations or QA: US$2,500-$4,000 a month, or US$15.6-US$25 an hour.

These ranges also apply for multiple other roles such as UX/UI designers and Scrum Master, according to their level of seniority.

So, what’s the best way to find and connect with these developers and their agencies?

One option is to use Google to do some scouting work across Mexico, Colombia, Argentina or Brazil; reach out to them, schedule calls and compare their offers. Another option is to request feedback and opinions from other companies in the US that have scouted before and could recommend a good agency to work with. Both options are viable and are the most frequently used.

 

Source: Omar Alvarez, Nearshore Americas.

The Texas and Mexico border is indisputably one of the most important for trade in North American, and the recent cancellation of a railway between the two stemming from political issues seems to be the least favorable economic option.

The TMEC Corridor is a project proposed by Mexico that would start in the port of Mazatlán, Sinaloa and go through various states in Mexico. It would then travel across the border into the United States and go north until reaching Canada.

Bloomberg previously confirmed that Texas would be losing a major railway project worth billions that was set to travel through Laredo due to Mexico moving the project in retaliation for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s enhanced truck inspections that led to standstills in traffic and billions of dollars lost for both countries.

One local academic shared his thoughts on the canceled plans, stating that the evidence was clear the rail line should remain through Texas, as it is the most efficient and effective thing to do for a project of this magnitude.

“I understand the political discourse going on between both parts, Texas and Mexico, but I always tell everybody let’s look at the data and for the data to show us what is going on,” said Daniel Covarrubias, Director of the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development at Texas A&M International. “It is a project that I know will benefit the North American trade zone, but you have to understand that it is a project 100% financed by private investments.

“In the end, I do understand that Mexico, as a country, will be involved in permits, promoting and things like that. But I think that this project is going to be dictated by market forces and where logistic corridors are more efficient and by where logistic infrastructure is already in place.”

Covarrubias said one of the main reasons Mexico wants this corridor is to alleviate the transportation of goods from Asia to North America. At the moment, almost all of this trade goes through the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

However, Covarrubias finds it interesting Mexico is looking forward at this port when it has two others operating for such tasks including the ports of Manzanillo, Colima and the port of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan. He says these two compared to the one in Mazatlan have no comparison at all, as the one in Sinaloa is still in its early stages.

“If you compare Mazatlan to those ports, there is no comparison,” Covarrubias said. “Especially with what Manzanillo does as the port of Manzanillo in (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), which is what the shipping industry uses to measure ports. There is little comparison.”

According to Covarrubias, the 2021 data on the ports indicates the port of Manzanillo does about 3.2 million TEUs a year while Lazaro Cardenas does 1.6 million, Ensenada, Baja California does 394,000 and Mazatlan does about 41,000.

“Just compare the 41,000 to the 3.2 million and 1.6 million, so that tells you the size of Mazatlan,” Covarrubias said. “Now is it a good project to make Mazatlan bigger, as the TMEC Corridor proposes a new port for the port of Mazatlan? Then yes it is good, and it can make it more viable. Will it compete with Manzanillo or Lazaro Cardenas? It is going to take years.”

Covarrubias says although the project has some good points, he sees it difficult to be done from Mazatlan and then crossing somewhere else other than into Texas to reach Canada, because the data shows Texas is the best route to take.

He said the last potential framework he saw of the project was to create an industrial complex in Mazatlan, then for the railway to pass through the state of Durango, which he says would be a task taking years to make, as it would mean the train tracks crossing through the Sierra Madre Mountains. From there, the railway would go to Frontera, Coahuila, then to Nava, Coahuila and then to the border with Texas, which would be entering in the Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass area.

According to Covarrubias, the Eagle Pass area has much train traffic. This is because the Corona brewery is located in Nava, Coahuila, just a few miles from the border and they ship all of their products mainly through railway.

Covarrubias questioned whether Laredo would have ever been the ultimate location of the railway, although it had been reported that it was. Based on his observations from a February 2022 report by the group CAXXOR — an international conglomerate with the strength to drive infrastructure projects and other real assets — he suspected it could have been ultimately heading elsewhere.

“As of February, I am still thinking that they were going to pass it through Eagle Pass,” Covarrubias said.

Even if Mexico continues with its position to move the cancelled railway to New Mexico, Covarrubias says it is going to be hard because the shortest and efficient route is through the state of Texas.

Whatever the case, Covarrubias says the project entails the rehabilitation of 167 kilometers of Mexican railways and the construction of 180 new kilometers of tracks. He estimates that would take about 15 to 20 years to complete.

He says doing it in New Mexico might even require new infrastructure on the American side, which continues to support why Texas is the best option.

“The data will show where this corridor will ultimately end up,” Covarrubias said. “If you just see right now, two of the top five railroad crossings in the United States are in the Texas border. Laredo is No. 1 and Eagle Pass is No. 4. The data just shows what the Texas-Mexico border is and what it could be, so I think that our efforts should be made to do it through this border.”

He says even among the top 10, the city of El Paso is also found while Brownsville is around No. 13. New Mexico does not have a railroad ranked until the mid-20s.

 

Source: Jorge A. Vela, LMT Online.

The backlogs of ships at the ports, the overseas logistics delays, and the subsequent supply chain snarls of the past two years have been covered ad nauseam. But while issues at U.S. ports are beginning to stabilize, the pandemic has revealed an even bigger issue that has yet to be resolved: our overdependence on an overseas supply network and a lack of visibility into where our goods and materials are sourced. We believe the pandemic has revealed the risks of a globalized supply chain and the need to start shifting to a more regionalized sourcing model.

There’s a host of compelling reasons why business leaders must act now to start making this shift—from national security to the health and safety of medically vulnerable Americans to sustainability. It’s time to start restructuring our supply chains so that we are sourcing more from our allies and democratic countries, especially those in the Americas. Indeed, the Biden administration has set a goal of making critical sectors of the U.S. economy less dependent on China. For the U.S., this endeavor will require public-private partnerships and hundreds of billions in government investments, subsidies, incentives, and sourcing mandates. It will also require us to leverage our neighbors to the north and south and set up manufacturing and logistics capabilities across the Americas.

OVERSEAS DEPENDENCE: A LOOK AT HOW WE GOT HERE 

The pandemic woke us up to the vulnerabilities baked into our historically lean, cost-optimized supply chains. Over the past several decades, we have optimized our globalized sourcing and procurement practices around reducing labor and other input costs. The result is a system that is designed to deliver goods and commodities at the least cost. But this cost-optimized system comes with a high price: we have created fragile supply chains that are vulnerable to disruption and manipulation.

For example, early in the pandemic, we saw shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including isolation gowns, medical-grade gloves, and masks, as well as ventilators. Between an overnight increase in demand for these items (70% of which came from the country where the pandemic originated) and just-in-time inventory management aimed at reducing stock and cost, the supply chain in the United States couldn’t keep up. This was followed by shortages of critically important drugs, including those needed for treating COVID-19 patients.

Follow-up research from Washington University in St. Louis also revealed longstanding problems with U.S. dependence on foreign manufacturers for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for essential medicines and generic drugs.1 Consider this: 97% of all active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for antiviral drugs and 92% of antibiotic APIs have no U.S. manufacturing source. The Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association blames this weakness on a “race to the bottom” mentality that drove manufacturing to low-cost manufacturing countries that provided structural advantages that the United States did not, such as greater government subsidies, lower input costs (such as a lower minimum wage), and lesser regulatory burdens.

Currently, India and China are the largest global suppliers of APIs, and this overdependence puts the U.S. in a precarious position of being vulnerable to price hikes, as well as supply chain disruptions. In 2021, for example, manufacturing delays from these countries accounted for 11% of all drug shortages in the U.S.

The pharmaceutical industry is not alone in its overdependence on overseas suppliers. Currently half of all global manufacturing is located in Asia. As a result, when U.S. consumers—many still stuck at home and flush with cash from stimulus checks—began buying electronics, vehicles, exercise gear, and other products on a scale that demand modelers couldn’t have forecasted, it resulted in severe port backlogs and delays. The more recent factory shutdowns and logistics delays caused by China’s extreme quarantine policies and its current energy crisis continue to demonstrate how vulnerable the globalized supply chain is to disruption.

A PAN-AMERICAN SUPPLY NETWORK 

Instead of the current global supply chain with an overdependence on Asian manufacturing, we believe that the United States would gain many financial and strategic benefits from a Pan-American supply network. Consider that in supply chains, speed translates into cash, and flexibility translates to resilience. A regional, “near-shored,” land-based supply chain would accelerate movement across the Americas, substantially reducing transit times. Less time spent in transit would mean less cash tied up in inventory. This equates to reduced working capital requirements and healthier balance sheets.

Creating a Pan-American supply network would require a mix of private investment and public funding and incentives. For example, governmental funding could be used to build a transportation infrastructure that linked the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America. This would create a robust and resilient supply chain corridor that would allow products to flow through the two continents faster and with fewer impediments. By investing in railways, bridges, and highway infrastructure from Canada through Mexico and into Central and South America, we would have a more seamless supply chain infrastructure. Goods and critical resources could be transported by ground from low-cost locations in Central and South America to the U.S. and Canada quickly without requiring water or air transportation (two of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution).

At the same time, we could work to create a Pan-American manufacturing ecosystem. The cost of labor in Mexico and Central America rivals that of China. Additionally, countries in Central America have the population and demographics to support a large-scale manufacturing and logistics footprint (the average age across Central America is 28). Local manufacturing opportunities would be welcomed by Central American communities: They would create jobs, build wealth, reduce the pressure to migrate, and promote political stability in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. We have seen in Asia that supply chain opportunities have the power to uplift hundreds of millions out of poverty. Why not try to replicate that model in troubled countries closer to home?

Initiatives by the U.S. apparel and footwear industry, with support from the Biden Administration, are already beginning to have an impact in developing Central American supply chains. For example, U.S. manufacturer Parkdale Mills recently announced that it is building a multimillion-dollar yarn-spinning factory in Honduras. This investment will enable Parkdale’s customers to shift one million pounds per week of yarn sourcing from Asian suppliers to Honduras while also creating new jobs.

In addition to subsidizing upgrades in transport infrastructure, U.S. trade officials can facilitate this regional shift by providing technical assistance and training to U.S. original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on how to navigate Central American regulatory structures and business cultures. This might involve advising on key challenges including maintaining compliance, achieving track-and-trace visibility, clearing customs, and best practices on how to reduce risk with carriers.

Of course, a strategic reset of this magnitude will take time and come at a great expense. It would be up to the United States, along with more developed countries like Canada, Mexico, and Brazil to lead the Pan-American initiative and persuade others. But it’s likely other countries in the Americas would be willing to help share the costs given the clear economic, political, and social benefits.

ROADMAP TO REGIONALIZATION 

We believe that we should fund and provide incentives for supply chain regionalization and diversification for critical industries first. This includes the four sectors prioritized by the Biden Administration in its 2021 report on improving supply chain resiliency: high-capacity batteries, semiconductors, critical minerals and materials, and pharmaceutical APIs. To those sectors, we would add telecommunications, energy, and food.

Pharmaceutical and health care companies are already taking on this challenge. For example, the health care improvement company Premier Inc., an alliance of hospitals and health care providers with extensive pharmaceutical supply chains and distribution networks, has worked with partners and even competitors over the last two years to increase domestic production and sourcing of PPE and APIs.2 Premier is leveraging its supply chain data to identify supplies that are most at risk and investing in those categories with “Buy-American” commitments. Masks, isolation gowns, and exam gloves are all examples of products with such commitments.

Premier recognizes that there are many reasons why the U.S. cannot aspire to become anywhere close to self-sufficient in pharmaceutical API production. For example, there is still a shortage of skilled manufacturing labor in the United States, and there are several key raw materials that region does not produce. The company argues, however, that both U.S.-based and geographically diverse manufacturing is needed to reduce overreliance on a single country or region.

A balanced approach, like the one Premier is taking, is a good first step to help keep costs in check while also helping to alleviate U.S. health care supply chain dependence on foreign nations. Still, this will not be easy nor inexpensive, and the company is urging the U.S. government to fund incentives such as zero-interest loans and tax incentives to “help close the cost gap between domestic and foreign drug manufacturing.”3

It should be noted that in some market segments and industries, it will not pay to invest in a significant re-engineering of supply chains to be more regional and less dependent on Asia. There are some cases where consumers will continue to choose less costly options over items with higher prices due to domestic or regionalized manufacturing. What’s more, China is the world’s largest economy with a vast and growing consumer market. So large global OEMs will want to maintain and, in some cases, continue growing their China-centric supply chains to serve this market as well as the rest of Asia.

Another alternative to supply chain regionalization is what is sometimes called “ally-shoring”—shifting procurement to democratic countries that are reliable U.S. allies. One model for this is how the United States cooperates with its closest allies—Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom—through the National Technology and Industrial Base (NTIB) to produce and supply defense technology.4 Another is the cooperative work between the U.S. and Canada on critical minerals production.5

MAPPING OUT THE FIRST STEP

How do you begin to understand where to start the journey of diversifying your supply chain? For supply chain managers, corporate leaders, and even the Biden administration, the journey to a regionalized, risk-adjusted supply chain network strategy begins with mapping your supplier network. While historically it’s been costly for companies to develop and maintain an accurate map of their supply chain, today, with the right partners, the process can be much more streamlined and efficient. Rapidly evolving technology, cloud adoption, and enterprise networks have made mapping cost effective, scalable, and rapidly achievable. What’s more, the new generation of software companies providing mapping capabilities go far beyond what could be accomplished with emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets.

Multi-tier visibility into the entire supply chain—which includes second and third tier suppliers and goes down to the part level—can help identify the most optimal supply chain design. This is because mapping provides a complete picture of the current supply chain. It can also provide visibility into any alternate sites within the network that might be available and where parts and raw materials could be sourced.

The visibility that mapping provides may show to you that it is possible to move your supply chain without having to switch suppliers. Imagine if you mapped your tier one, two, and three suppliers in China. What you’d likely find is that 30% of them have manufacturing sites outside of China.6 Instead of onboarding new suppliers, which is extremely labor and cost intensive, you’d be able to easily shift to an alternate location with minimal disruption.

A SENSE OF URGENCY

We need to start approaching supply chain regionalization with a sense of urgency, as regionalization is the first step toward addressing the risks and vulnerabilities affecting our supply chains.

However, this shift to more regional supply chains will not be easy. It will take significant investment and cooperation across both private industry and the public sphere. It will also take time. It took more than 30 years for China to become the dominant manufacturer to the world. Building this kind of capacity in other countries and regions will also take decades—which is why we need to start designing the supply chain for the next 50 years, now.

Notes:

1. Patricia Van Arnum, “The U.S. Manufacturing Base: Generics,” DCAT Value Chain Insights (Sept. 8, 2021): https://www.dcatvci.org/features/the-us-api-manufacturing-base-generics

2. Michael J. Alkire, “Three Ways Premier Members are Driving Pharmacy Innovation During COVID-19,” Premier blog (Sept. 28, 2021): https://www.premierinc.com/newsroom/blog/three-ways-premier-members-are-driving-pharmacy-innovation-during-covid-19

3. Ibid

4. Heidi M. Peters, “Defense Primer: The National Technology and Industrial Base,” Congressional Research Service (February 3, 2021): https://sgp.fas.org/crs/natsec/IF11311.pdf

5. “United States and Canada Forge Ahead on Critical Minerals Cooperation,” U.S. Department of State media note (July 31, 2021): https://www.state.gov/united-states-and-canada-forge-ahead-on-critical-minerals-cooperation

6. Of the tens of thousands of suppliers that Resilinc maps in China, this percentage is typical.

 

Source: Bindiya Vakil, CSCMP’s Supply Chain (Quarterly)

El estado de Baja California se ha destacado por su aumento en la llegada de inversión extranjera y nacional. Su posición geográfica, es una de las ventaja que han observado diversas empresas multinacionales, mismas que han decidido establecer sus operaciones de manufactura, logística y distribución en la región.

De acuerdo con el “Panorama Económico de Baja California”, realizado por la Secretaría de Economía e Innovación del estado, al cierre del 2021, el crecimiento de la actividad industrial fue de 12.7% en la entidad, hecho que la posicionó como el primer lugar de la frontera norte. Mientras que, al primer mes del 2022, el sector de la construcción creció 12.1 por ciento.

De igual forma, la dependencia, detalló que al 3T2021, los sectores con mayor crecimiento fueron las manufacturas (19.2%), el comercio (18.2%) y la minería (13.9%).

Inversión Extranjera Directa en Baja California 

En cuanto a la captación de Inversión Extranjera Directa (IED), la entidad se posicionó durante el mismo periodo, en el tercer lugar a nivel nacional, con 7%, solo por debajo de Nuevo León con 12.7% y CDMX con 16 por ciento.

“Se trata de un incremento del 85% respecto a 2020. De esta, el 45.7% se destinó al transporte de gas natural por ductos, seguida por la fabricación de automóviles y camiones (9.8%). Cabe mencionar que 8 de cada 10 dólares invertidos en B.C. provinieron de Estados Unidos (82.4%)”, se detalla en el documento.

Por su parte, la Secretaría de Economía Federal, destacó que la captación de IED del estado fue de 2 mil 212.8 millones de dólares, del cual 52.8% correspondió a nuevas inversiones.

Cabe destacar que la cifra total de IED, significa un récord para la entidad, ya que es la más alta registrada en 20 años.

Adquisición de vivienda en Baja California 

Otro de los sectores que han mostrado crecimiento en el estado, ha sido la adquisición de vivienda, principalmente por ciudadanos estadounidenses, que ante el aumento de costos en su país, buscan comprar alguna propiedad en la entidad.

El Comité de Turismo y Convenciones de Tijuana (Cotuco), explicó que el 40% de los inmuebles adquiridos en Tijuana, corresponden a personas del sur de California.

Por lo que en 2021, este sector dejó una derrama económica de 420 millones de dólares. Ante esto, Kurt Honold, secretario de Economía e Innovación de Baja California, informó que se busca continuar  impulsando este sector para que ciudadanos americanos, comiencen a comprar propiedades en la ciudad y no solo en las costas.

Arturo Gutiérrez Sánchez, presidente de Cotuco, explicó que los rubros económicos que crecieron durante la pandemia fueron el desarrollo habitacional, construcciones y turismo de salud.

 

Fuente: Monica Herrera, Inmobiliare

China dejó de ser el centro manufacturero para 15 empresas de origen alemán, japonés y estadounidense, las cuales invertirán los próximos dos años cerca de 400 millones de dólares en León y El Bajío de México.

Esa relocalización de la empresas obedece a la intención de cumplir con las nuevas reglas del Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá (T-MEC), así como ya no pagar altos precios de transporte y dejar de depender de la industria marítima.

“Hay alrededor de entre 14 y 15 proyectos en cartera de inversión (de compañías alemanas, japonesas y estadounidenses) para el municipio de Guanajuato, pero no hay uno que sea particularmente de una empresa de China”, revela Guillermo Romero Pacheco, secretario para la Reactivación Económica de León.

Las empresas alemanas y japonesas aprovechan este momento para cumplir con las nuevas reglas comerciales del T-MEC, especialmente el contenido de integración del 75%, señala el funcionario del gobierno del municipio de León.

Mazda importaba algunas piezas y autopartes de Japón, China, Singapur y otros países de Asia, pero ahora sus proveedores y otras empresas aterrizarán en México para que “tengan el acta de nacimiento regional y cumplan con el factor de integración”, dice a Forbes México.

“Están llegando algunos proveedores de Asia a instalarse a León, pero son ligados a las mismas fábricas automotrices”, comenta el ex director general de la Coordinadora de Fomento al Comercio Exterior del Estado de Guanajuato.

Los proyectos en cartera representan una inversión de entre 350 millones de dólares hasta 400 millones de dólares, los cuales serán cerrados y amarrados en los próximos dos años, dice el economista egresado del Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Según el secretario, entre los proyectos de inversión están los que apuestan a la industria automotriz y autopartes, así como servicios y ventas de mayoreo.

“No hay en este momento particularmente alguna petición o proyecto de inversión con capital chino en León”, agrega Guillermo Romero Pacheco.

Desde hace muchos años están operando empresas de origen chino o se aliaron para producir suelas, accesorios, herrajes y autopartes, añade.

En la parte automotriz en los últimos cinco años llegaron entre 2 y 3 empresas de capital chino para ser proveedores de la industria automotriz a León, apunta el funcionario.

 

La presencia de China en San Luis Potosí

“Tengo conocimiento de que 4 empresas chinas llegaron al Bajío en los últimos dos años, especialmente en San Luis Potosí”, señala David Novoa Toscano, presidente de la Asociación de Empresas Proveedoras Industriales de México (Apimex).

Las empresas de origen y capital chino se dedican a la producción de autopartes para las armadoras como BMW y General Motors con fuerte presencia en San Luis Potosí, dice el empresario.

Cada vez más empresas están buscando productos mexicanos, si bien un gran porcentaje de las exportaciones de México van a Estados Unidos, hoy en día las empresas quieren y están buscando más proveeduría local y hay un tema conocido como nearshoring.

Los empresarios y empresas estadounidenses quieren el producto en dos días, porque ya no les es rentable esperar hasta seis meses los contenedores importados de Asia a puertos como Long Beach en California, destaca Novoa Toscano.

“Esperar seis meses para tener producto en Estados Unidos, pues es un mundo de tiempo en uno de los países de mayor consumo de bienes y servicios a nivel mundial”.

México, Guanajuato y León tienen la capacidad para colocar producto en sólo tres días en cualquier parte de Estados Unidos, agrega el representante de los proveedores.

“El americano viene a México a buscar más proveeduría y quien le maquile, porque ya no quieren estar en Asia y las empresas con operaciones en México les llevan un mes de ventaja en el trayecto”, expuso el presidente de Apimex.

Las empresas al dejar Asia encuentran muchas ventajas por instalarse en el Bajío, especialmente ya no dependen de la industria marítima que vive una crisis por la pandemia de Covid-19, recuerda el presidente de Apimex.

En enero de 2020, cuando se daban los primeros contagios de Covid-19, el traslado de un contenedor de 40 pies desde los puertos chinos de Shanghái, Ningbo, Yantian, Xiamen, Qingdao y Hong Kong a Lázaro Cardenás costaba sólo 2 mil dólares.

Para la tercera semana de noviembre de 2021, las navieras APM-Maersk, Mediterranean Shg Co, Cosco Group, CMA CGM Group Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network y Evergreen Line cobraban 13 mil 500 dólares por traer la misma caja cargada con mercancía de China a México. En octubre de 2021, el traslado de un contenedor de 40 pies llegó  a costar más de 14 mil 265 dólares.

China tiene Alibaba, JD.com y Pinduoduo entre las cinco empresas de comercio electrónico por volumen de negocios del mundo. Estados Unidos tiene a Amazon en el segundo lugar y Canadá a Shopify.

 

Source: Enrique Hernandez, Forbes Mexico

 

At the 2022 Spring Meeting in San Diego, panelists shared some of the opportunities they see in Mexico, while addressing some of the perceived challenges, both real and imagined.

Blanca Rodriguez, director of finance and capital at Marhnos Inmobiliaria, said that Mexico’s REITs, known as “FIBRAs”, help provide liquidity to the market for those looking to transact. “’How am I going to exit from these investments?’ is no longer a question,” said Blanca. “An institutional investor from anywhere in the world is welcome.”

Gonzalo Robina, CEO of FIBRA UNO, a real estate investment trust, said that many of the global events of the last decade are benefitting Mexico. Manufacturers are returning to Mexico to China and elsewhere. Even some of China’s companies are creating manufacturing facilities in Mexico to be closer to the North American customer base, said Gonzalo.

Federico Martin del Campo said that Mexico’s workforce is fairly well educated in engineering and other trades but at a lower cost.

Rodriguez said that some parts of Mexico have become destinations for “digital nomads” who can work from anywhere with Internet access.

“You don’t see too many cranes,” said Erez Cohen I, co-CEO of Urbium Property Group. “So we’re not worried about overheating or overbuilding.”

“Exchange rates have been stable, but with some of the hotels, you are getting paid in dollars with your expenses in pesos,” said Robina.

Del Campo said that in the past industrial has been somewhat recession proof as you can cut back on labor by reducing hours or shifts but you are still paying your full rent at least until the end of the lease.

Rodriguez said she sees an opportunity in the future for public private partnerships for infrastructure.

Cohen said Mexico is also home to six different unicorns, a term for tech companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion. He also sees a sees a nearly 10 million home deficit in terms of housing Mexico’s population, larger per capita than the United States.

Robina said that in the office space, most new development is the equivalent of LEED certified and energy efficient. Del Campo said that lenders are also interested in giving favorable financing to ESG compliant projects.

In response to an audience question, Carlos de Icaza, a partner with law firm Creel, García–Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, said that there is some exaggeration of the issue of eviction in Mexico where ultimately it is a country of laws and courts where if you don’t pay, you eventually leave, particularly at the middle to higher income levels.

 

Source: Urban Land

Mexico’s economy appeared to limp into 2022. But factory-filled states along the U.S. border are thriving, with the country’s exports surpassing $80 billion in the first two months of the year.

Due to strong U.S. demand and a revival of the auto sector, investors are moving in and banks are getting ready to finance new projects. Exports of non-petroleum goods grew almost 27% in February compared with the year earlier. If you’re interested in cars, toys, or medical supplies, there’s probably a company ready to ship through the world’s busiest border.

Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toy cars, announced in mid-March plans to make Mexico the site of its biggest plant in the world, a $47 million consolidation and expansion project that includes a 200,000-square-foot facility with some 3,500 workers.

Mexico’s Exports

The five Mexican states responsible for the biggest chunk of exports are all along the border. Monterrey-based Grupo Financiero BASE, which does half of its lending in the state of Nuevo Leon bordering Texas and includes among its clients everyone from orange growers to budget mobile-phone makers, expects that exports will grow another 6% in 2022.

“It’s a year of big opportunities,” Julio Escandon, BASE’s chief executive officer, said in a recent interview. “Because of the pandemic and probably the situation in Ukraine, the supply chain that comes from Asia is moving to Mexico.”

There’s a whole set of businesses that provide secondary projects, such as the makers of covers for jacuzzis or the seats of autos. Cars were scarce in part because of chip shortages that pushed up prices, but in February exports had grown by 32% from the year before, suggesting some of the worst missing-parts problems had been resolved.

Big Chunk

Battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology is considering a Mexico plant to supply Tesla, though the deal is not yet closed. A series of votes at car production plants that slotted in new union representatives also suggests that labor conditions might become fairer, under pressure from the U.S. to respect trade agreement rules.

The rest of the country has been more slothful in its recovery, with a 2% expansion expected for 2022 according to a Bloomberg survey, but Escandon’s projections for the northern states are more optimistic.

“The demand from the United States does not stop growing. There’s an expansion of plants, but the existing warehouses are not enough for this level of growth,” he said.

A Logistical Nightmare

Climbing Congestion Costs | A measure of U.S. supply-chain pressures rose to a record, adding to already stiff inflationary headwinds from logistics amid dwindling warehouse space and unprecedented inventory costs. The Logistics Managers’ Index advanced for a third straight month in March, reaching 76.2 from 75.2 in February. “Continued inventory congestion has driven inventory costs, warehousing prices, and overall aggregate logistics costs to all-time high levels,” the report stated. “This is putting even more pressure on already-constrained capacity.”

Source: Bloomberg

MEXICO CITY — As business and group travel recovers in Mexico and international inbound travel resumes, hoteliers are pivoting to take advantage of growing bleisure trends and getting their hotels in the best shape to attract returning business travelers.

“Starting in the middle of the pandemic, we recovered some business travel,” said Mauricio Elizondo, director of development for Mexico-based Grupo Posadas, which operates hotels across nine brands in Mexico. “’Suit and suitcase’ travelers went to our upscale hotels, but our midscale hotels had the best business travel recovery because these were people who needed to be out installing software, attending training, visiting plants. We have more than 150 midscale hotels, and in March we had occupancy of around 66% in those hotels.”

Elizondo spoke on a panel about business travel demand at the 2022 Mexico Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference here, presented by HVS.

Elizondo said the company’s upscale hotels in March achieved around 62% occupancy, which will grow “as travelers realize they can start reinstating meetings and group activities.”

Business and group travel in Mexico falls into several major buckets, including corporate travel, summits and conventions, then fairs and exhibitions, said Alejandro Ramírez, CEO at Business Travel Consulting. That third bucket has fared well because often large-scale trade shows and expos have used outdoor space.

All other types of business and event travel are slowly coming back, driven by what Ramírez called “the white-collar sector and the boots-and-helmet sectors.”

“We’ll start to see more events,” Ramírez said. “The second quarter is looking better, and we may close the year with 80% of this type of travel returning.”

Business Travel Drivers

Demand drivers for business-type hotels throughout Mexico have been growing in recent years in part due to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, growing demands for manufacturing operations and the country’s expanding energy sector. Mexico City’s new international airport, Felipe Ángeles International Airport, also opened in late March, opening additional airlift into the region.

“The United States-Mexico-Canada treaty helped generate a pipeline of industrial projects, and fiscal incentives in the recovery have had positive effects in Mexico,” said Lorea Arnoldi, senior project manager for HVS.

Like most other developed countries around the world, leisure travel is outpacing business travel now, but Arnoldi said the country’s business-heavy cities, like Mexico City and Monterrey, are seeing occupancy grow and more development interest.

Embracing Bleisure

Oscar Chávez, director of franchise sales and development in Mexico for IHG Hotels & Resorts, said that like the rest of the world, Mexico saw inbound international travel dry up at the start of the pandemic.

“We created new safety and security strategies to incentivize business travelers to return sooner,” he said. “We tried to support business transient and corporate travel, and we marketed to them a lot because we knew they were sitting at home in front of their computers.”

Chávez said 85% of the company’s Mexican portfolio are business hotels, so the return of international travel has been “a breath of fresh air.”

Alex Mai, vice president of development for the Caribbean and Latin America at Radisson Hotel Group, said the bleisure trend that intensified during the pandemic is evident in Mexico, too.

“This mix of business and leisure is really helping us get the shoulder nights,” he said. “We need to develop the services to add value to hotels to allow these types of customers to stay with us and combine pleasure and business.”

Part of that comes in activating hotels more efficiently.

Chávez said that prior to the pandemic, IHG had been adjusting hotels and operations to be more efficient and make the best use of space. That practice has helped optimize returns for owners and make hotels more appealing to different types of travelers.

“We restricted some space in Holiday Inn Express and downsized the building to be more efficient,” he said. “Crowne Plaza and InterContinental hotels are readapting ballrooms to have more activated space. If restaurants have high tables, then after breakfast we can turn these into areas where people can work. This gives the investor the best opportunity, gives the business traveler the space they need and it’s inventive.”

Operations Costs

Hoteliers may struggle to balance operating costs with profitability, speakers said. The practice of restricting or stopping guest services to maintain profitability isn’t as widespread in Mexico as it is in the United States, speakers said.

“In group business, we continue to see Mexico have an advantage,” Elizondo said. “We have good labor here at competitive prices, very different from the labor picture in the U.S. There you stay in a hotel charging $300 to $400 and they don’t clean the room, everything is closed and you have to go to Starbucks.

“In Mexico, it’s different,” he said. “There’s good labor and in all our brands we provide daily housekeeping.”

Elizondo said the goal for 2022 is to recover rate enough “that will allow you to provide continued service at the margin you want.”

Business Hotel Transactions

In the near term at least, the development strategy for opening business-centric hotels is through conversions, speakers said.

“There are opportunities to buy, but I haven’t seen much,” Chávez said. “Beach markets are better, but in the city, it all depends on the perspective of the investor. He could have lots of available cash and may want to invest in bricks rather than in refurbishment.”

Elizondo said the majority of Posadas hotels opened this year will be via conversions. New-builds are still happening, but the process takes longer, he said.

“In the last month, we’ve seen four or five examples where we could have good profitability in an asset that already exists in a city,” he said. “This is going to be very active.”

 

Source: CoStar

GlobalAutoIndustry.com’s latest Audio Interview “Manufacturing and R&D: How did Mexico Become the Rising Star on the Global Stage?” features Gary Swedback. Mr. Swedback is CEO of NAI Mexico and NAI PanAmericas, part of the NAI Global network, a leading industrial and commercial real estate firm. NAI Mexico operates 25 offices across Mexico and Latin America, and works with many global customers, including those in the auto industry. Gary Swedback is a sought-after speaker on Mexico & Latin America industry and business issues.

Visit Global Auto Industry and consult the complete interview.

Durante el 2021, Ciudad Juárez se posicionó en cuarto lugar en cuanto a la demanda bruta industrial acumulada, informó Solili en un comunicado.

Este mercado industrial fronterizo, solo fue superado por Monterrey, CDMX y Tijuana.

Ciudad Juárez, con más de 612 mil metros cuadrados de demanda anual, es reconocido como un destacado centro de manufactura y transformación.

Su condición fronteriza ha sido de vital importancia para el impulso de su actividad exportadora.

Demanda bruta industrial aumentó 183% durante el 2021

El último trimestre del 2021, la demanda bruta superó los 121 metros cuadrados registrando un incremento de 183% con respecto al mismo trimestre del 2020.

Esto, derivado de solicitudes de empresas de giro manufacturero, logístico, automotriz, médico, industria plástica, electrónica, y shelters.

Durante este trimestre, culminó la construcción de seis inmuebles que adicionaron cerca de 90 mil metros cuadrados, con el 95% ya ocupados.

Con un inventario que supera los 6.7 millones de m2, las empresas buscan presencia en Ciudad Juárez, a la hora de elegir un sitio industrial en México.

Este mercado, altamente diversificado, favorece que corporativos globales logren obtener un desarrollo eficiente de proveedores gracias a dos elementos:

  •         Superficie que oferta en renta
  •         Cantidad de desarrolladores que allí se asientan

Desarrolladores muestran interés por espacios clase A

Parte de las empresas ya instaladas en la zona han presentado un mayor interés por los espacios clase A. Por tal motivo, la vacancia actual en esta categoría cierra el trimestre con 0.4 por ciento.

En años anteriores, había una oferta de espacios disponibles con alta presencia de inmuebles Clase B.

Sin embargo, en la actualidad este perfil ha ido mutando derivado de los nuevos inversionistas y desarrolladores que han lanzado una oferta de mayor calidad.

Al cierre de 2021, las nuevas construcciones suman 277 mil m2 en su totalidad Clase A, concentrando el Corredor Sur el 57% de los espacios disponibles.

Como respuesta a la actividad de arrendamiento, los desarrolladores han detonado este último trimestre ocho nuevas edificaciones clase A.

Con estos nuevos proyectos, el mercado suma 93 mil metros cuadrados, de los cuales el 80% se encuentran disponibles para arrendamiento.

Se prevé que el 2022 mantenga el interés de los desarrolladores que conocen del potencial de poseer inmuebles industriales en esta importante entidad.

 

Fuente: Inmobiliare