So you want to move to Mexico? Immigration Essentials

So you want to move to Mexico? Immigration Essentials

Photo credit: Goodbye Old Passport by IK’s World Trip

This slideshare explains the essential rules for immigration in Mexico, whether personal, family or corporate immigration. As always, this is for informative purposes and cannot be considered as substitute for a legal advice. Learn more.

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Download here: So you want to live in Mexico? Immigration Essentials (63)

Mexican Telecom Reform has passed … What´s next?

Mexican Telecom Reform has passed … What´s next?

Photo credit: Cut down to size by Adrian Nier

Last April 30, Mexican Congress finally approved the Constitutional Reform on telecom (and anti-trust). Now it is time for the 31 State Congresses to review and approve. If any 16 Congresses approve the Reform, it will become a finished Reform. State of Mexico was first. Jalisco and Querétaro are on their way.

Then, what is next? The secondary regulation, meaning discussing/approving amendments to Telecom Law, Radio and TV Law, CATV Regulations, Satellite Regulations, Regulations to Telecom Law and many other. As has been discussed in the fora, making a uniform Telecom legislative body comprising and putting together all segments of the market. Yes, this is because every telecom service is convergent and data-driven, and yes, law is for regulating these trends.

Some of my next posts will address the hottest topics on secondary regulation. I will write on topics that media or specialists have not discussed enough or at all.

Can´t wait? Want to suggest something? Let me know … #TelecomReformMX

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Speaks to American Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Speaks to American Chamber of Commerce

Photo credit: Mexico: Dinero, Peso, Moneda by Speaking Latino

“U.S. and Mexican companies do not simply sell products to one another, they build products together”, says Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, who spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, emphasised how the two countries are linked together through bonds of friendship and economy that run deeply.

“President Obama said that our two countries ‘are not simply neighbors bound by geography and history.  We are, by choice, friends and partners.’  At the heart of this special relationship are very deep and strong economic ties.  Since 1993, prior to NAFTA’s implementation, both Mexico’s and the U.S. GDP have grown 56 percent.  Bilateral trade has increased fivefold.  Mexico exports more to the U.S. than all of the BRIC countries combined”, said Wayne.

To expand on his point of the countries being tied by very strong economic bonds, he explained that the United States’ second largest export market is the neighboring Spanish-speaking North American country. Mexico’s largest trading partner is the United States.   Furthermore, for 22 individual states, Mexico is the largest or second largest export market.

The ambassador also spoke of how the border between the two countries is one of the world’s busiest international boundaries.  Over one million people cross the border every day, and per day the amount of trade that occurs over the border averages more than $1.25 billion.  Growth was a solid 7 percent in 2012 despite the ongoing financial crisis in the United States, with bilateral trade totaling almost $494 billion in the same year.  Wayne emphasized that this number does not include services; in fact, if services were included in the calculation, bilateral trade for 2012 would be more than half a trillion dollars.

The Ambassador also highlighted how when it comes to competitiveness on the international market, Mexico and the United States do not simply trade with each other, they build and develop products with each other in a way that can be seen as more of a partnership.

“This means the competitiveness of our two countries is closely linked, and improvements in productivity in one nation make a co-manufactured product cheaper and more competitive on the global market.  That is to say, growth in Mexico or the United States boosts exports from both countries: when it comes to manufacturing, we are in it together,” he said.

Mexico currently enjoys free trade agreements with 44 countries, which in fact makes it the country with the highest amount of free trade agreements in the world.   Because the country has recently entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, both the United States and Mexico will be able to build on their NAFTA foundation.  In other words, the U.S. and Mexico will be able to strengthen their economies within the NAFTA countries and will be able to strengthen their economies by increasing trade with Asia-Pacific regions.  Access to these Asia markets could mean 198 million new customers and up to a trillion dollars annually in resulting trade.

Mexico provides “just-in-time” manufacturing which is an effective cost-saving tool for American companies, transportation is nimble, and Mexico produces more engineers per year than Canada or even Germany.  This talent-pool along with Mexico’s other advantages make the country a natural choice for international manufacturing firms.

Mexico’s growth is good for the U.S. economy, and according to Wayne, more awareness needs to exist about the two countries’ shared economic success.

United States/Mexico Railroad Transportation Quickly Expanding

United States/Mexico Railroad Transportation Quickly Expanding

Photo credit: 230/365: 08/18/2013. Union Pacific X-18 by peddhapati

Mexico is becoming the darling of the world’s manufacturing industry; along with highly skilled, experienced workers who are famed for their solid work ethic, Mexico has access to cheap energy thanks to its own natural resources and shale gas and oil that are imported through new and projected pipelines from the United States.  Due to the Spanish-speaking country’s geographical location as well, companies that manufacture everything from computers to automobiles are rushing in order to access all of the markets that are available in the Americas from Alaska to the southernmost part of Argentina.

In order to keep the goods flowing and manufacturing at optimized levels, railroad transportation is quickly expanding in Mexico and the United States, with north-south corridors seeing improvements and significant expansions extending from manufacturing bases in Mexico to markets, ports and road hubs in the United States.

Kansas City Southern (KCS), a Missouri-based railroad has recently made what is called an aggressive push into the cross-border intermodal market, having invested a total of $300 million in upgrades to its intermodal network in order to get Mexican goods moving.  The move not only will strengthen this railroad’s position as a major player in one of the world’s busiest commerce corridors; it might also change the way freight is handled.  Partnering up with Canadian Pacific Railway, KCS operates over a vast territory, going from Minneapolis to the Pacific coast port of Lázaro Cárdenas.

What makes KCS a little bit different and a better good transportation option that other companies is the fact that it doesn’t need to interchange traffic at the U.S.- Mexico border and is the only railroad company from the United States that doesn’t have to.

Intermodal shipping, or the shifting of containers in which goods are placed from trucks to trains or trains to ports, is the major area where growth is booming at near exponential rates.   In the past five years alone, cross-border truck and train freight has gone up an astounding 35 per cent, and is expected to grow as trade between the United States and Mexico increases to record levels.  The value of goods expected to flow through the border via railroads and trucking networks will most likely exceed $360 billion.

One of the industries that are relying on improved rail and road infrastructure is Mexico’s automobile sector.  While the sector is currently experiencing double-digit growth in production, it is still expected to leap by another 40 percent in the next 18 months.    Currently, Asian and European manufacturers that are in Mexico are hoping to acquire space close to the Mexican towns and cities KCS services at present.

Right now, Mexico is a hot market for U.S. investors and companies.  Summing up the situation in Mexico is Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl, who says:  “Anybody with an opportunity to position themselves in this marketplace and chooses not to will probably regret it sometime in the next five to 10 years because cross-border market growth is going to outstrip probably any growth in any other (intermodal) transportation.”

Mexico’s Push to Reform Hydrocarbons Sector: a Possible Boom for Foreign Investors?

Mexico’s Push to Reform Hydrocarbons Sector: a Possible Boom for Foreign Investors?

Photo credit: oil pump by jodelli

Mexico’s current government is strongly pushing through plans to overhaul the country’s hydrocarbons sector.  While there are many protesting the move to allow a certain amount of foreign investment, those involved in the industry feel that Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the ailing state-owned oil company which enjoys a monopoly, desperately needs investment in order to modernize its outdated infrastructure and extract its untapped reserves of oil and gas.

What must be stated is that while the governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is pushing for PEMEX reform, it is still insisting that it will remain a state-owned company and will not be privatized.  In a nutshell, this means that if reforms are approved, foreign oil companies will essentially be working for PEMEX, not for themselves.  However, this does not necessarily mean doom and gloom for international oil companies. Just to give some hints on the coming events, PEMEX has just signed a memorandum of understanding with Exxon Mobil to start negotiating collaboration for the future.

At the present time, PEMEX could be considered as a “hobbled” company; the nation’s oil industry is suffering.  While the country is sitting on massive resources, decades of non-profitable management, a heavy tax burden and a lack of infrastructure reinvestment have taken their toll.  Output has declined by a whopping 25 percent in the past 9 years; peak production was reached in 2004 and was recorded to be 3.4 million barrels per day.  Industry analysts say that even then, the peak production could and should have been higher.

As the situation stands now, the constitution of the country states that hydrocarbons are the property of the state and only the state has the right to exploit them.  Private companies are incredibly limited and can only play the role of service contractors or consultants to PEMEX.  The industry is closed to the type of investment it desperately needs to modernize.

The Mexican government emphasizes and warns that if reforms are not made, Mexico, which is currently the top supplier of oil to the United States, will actually need to import oil in less than five years’ time to meet its growing energy demands.

Recently, in the city of Salamanca, Guanajuato, President Enrique Peña Nieto stated in a speech: “The transformation of PEMEX is indispensable to free up Mexico’s great economic potential.”

The reform proposals include the restructuring of PEMEX and would open the industry to foreign investment in the fields of refining, shale gas exploration and petrochemicals.  Furthermore, the reforms would allow foreign companies limited participation in deep water projects.   However, this does not mean foreign companies could “set up shop”: the hydrocarbons would have to remain in Mexican hands.  While a reform timeline has yet to be established, experts say that they will need to be approved and implemented quickly or else the industry could die out.

But what does this mean for investors and foreign oil companies?  Profitable opportunities will certainly exist, but they will be in the consulting arena.  If the reforms go through, PEMEX will most likely be in a mad dash to find companies with expertise in infrastructure modernization, shale oil and gas exploration, and deep-water projects.

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