By Bill Trüb
From the January/February 2013 issue
Despite being hard hit by the 2008-2009 worldwide economic recession, which contracted the country’s GDP by 6.5 percent, Mexico remains the second largest economy in Latin America and 13th in the world. Last June, the proud nation hosted the G20 summit in Los Cabos, an undeniable vote of international confidence for Mexico, which boasts a 78-million strong workforce (2012) ranked by the World Trade Organization as the hardest working in the world in terms of profitability and number of hours. While income disparity is still being addressed, Mexico is widely classified as an upper middle-income country.
A global trade leader, more than 90% of Mexico’s exports thrive under free trade agreements with more than 40 countries. Positioned advantageously between the United States and Central America, and with large maritime borders on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Mexico has access to vast land- and sea-based trade routes that keep its commerce coming and going at remarkable rates. Its reach even extends further afield to the European Union, Japan and Israel.
The service sector accounts for roughly 70% of Mexico’s GDP, with the industrial sector occupying 25 percent and agriculture representing 4 percent. The country’s electronics industry continues to boom and currently ranks as the world’s sixth largest behind China, the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Roughly 20 million foreigners visit Mexico each year thanks to a well-oiled tourism infrastructure, rich cultural events and famous stretches of beach.
In September, Pennsylvania-based Emerson and its InterMetro Industries business unit, a global leader in storage and productivity enhancing systems, opened a new manufacturing and assembly facility in Ciudad Acuña in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The site will produce a wide range of polymer storage and technology products designed for the food service, commercial and healthcare markets.
Emerson invested $22 million to construct the 220,000-square-foot facility in Amistad Business Park. Approximately 200 people are expected to be employed once the facility reaches full capacity at the end of 2013. “Emerson made this investment because we believe Ciudad Acuña has a bright future ahead as a manufacturing location that enables us to meet global demand for our Metro storage products in a cost-competitive manner,” says Edward Monser, president and COO of Emerson.
Amistad Global Developers, the full-service real estate company which runs the business park now home to Emerson and InterMetro, has developed more than 18 million square feet of industrial and corporate space throughout Mexico, including the states of Chihuahua, Guanajuato and Sonora, among others.
Luvata, a world leader in metal solution manufacturing, broke ground in 2012 on a coatings plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. The multi-million dollar lease and construction project will occupy 57,000 square feet. Luvata CEO John Peter Leesi says, “Our new location in Amistad’s Ramos Arizpe park complements its sister facilities in Monterrey and Juarez in meeting the growing needs of our customers in Mexico.”
Last summer, Amistad welcomed automotive manufacturer Yorozu to central Mexico. The Japanese company purchased 70,500 square meters of land and has invested more than $70 million at the industrial site. Yorozu will produce shock absorbers for Honda vehicles.