World Highways -Work is now underway on a new highway in Baja California Sur. The government has invested $148.7 million in building the new Cabo San Lucas-San Jose del Cabo highway.
Bloomberg – Mexico’s largest infrastructure companies have waited more than two years to get a piece of the capital’s new $13 billion airport project. Now as bids get under way, most are in poor position to compete. Enter billionaire Carlos Slim.
AP – Arizona lawmakers who hoped to build miles of fencing along the border with Mexico using millions of dollars in private money are pulling the plug nearly five years later after the state received just a fraction of the donations needed.
Televisa – Just a few weeks after reopening Metro Line 12, director of the Public Transport System Jorge Gaviño said rocking problems that cause wear on wheels and rails trains, will not disappear and will be a lifelong problem.
World Highways – A major upgrade of Mexico’s Atizapan-Atlacomulco road link is being planned. The work is expected to commence in 2016 and will cost in the region of $182.63 million.
Sentido Comun – International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), the operator of the port of Manzanillo, obtained a loan of $117.5 million from the International Finance Corp. to modernize and expand the maritime terminal.
Reuters – Mexico and the United States said they will open two jointly staffed border stations on Mexican soil in a bid to streamline trade and improve communication at the frontier, which has suffered due to tensions over migration.
Quartz -The land border between the US and Mexico is 1,933 miles in length, and Donald Trump would like to see all of it sealed off—as would nearly half of all Americans, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Erecting an end-to-end barrier would be a complicated and costly endeavor, though.
El Economista – Thirteen banks lent the Airport Group of Mexico City (CMAG) $3 billion for the construction of the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM). Banamex Citi, HSBC, Santander and JPMorgan contributed $300 million each, and the rest is contributed by the other nine.
Bloomberg – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has joined four banks to manage the sale of as much as $6 billion in bonds to fund Mexico City’s new airport, with the first dollar debt likely to come in 2016’s second half.
Sentido Comun – GBM Infrastructure, a fund specialized in supporting infrastructure investment projects, plans to invest in Ecatepec highway Naucalpan, owned by Empresas ICA, Mexico’s largest construction company.
Financial Post – The Caisse de depot says it will invest $1.43 billion on infrastructure projects in Mexico after teaming with a newly created consortium that manages 62 per cent of that country’s pension fund assets.
Sentido Comun – The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation lunched the first package of tenders for the construction of the new Mexico City International Airport.
Knowledge @ Wharton
Over the past decade, Mexico’s manufacturing output has steadily increased, especially in the automotive, auto parts and electronic sectors.
And yet Mexico currently ranks 64 of 148 countries in terms of infrastructure, according to the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. Economists agree that Mexico’s prospects for becoming a truly industrial economy will remain limited unless the country accelerates its construction of the roads, railroads, ports, energy plants and other physical infrastructure essential in any modern industrial economy.
According to Barbara Kotschwar, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington: “Now is the moment for Mexico to get serious about its infrastructure . Latin America is woefully underfunded in terms of its infrastructure, and studies cite its infrastructure weakness as a major reason for Latin American underdevelopment.”
With that goal in mind, the Mexican government last year published its National Infrastructure Program for 2014-2018, a comprehensive array of projects that would cost the public and private sectors a combined total of about $600 billion. Under the umbrella of the program, Mexico expects to upgrade not only its transportation sector, but also its communications networks, along with its energy sector — including power, oil and gas — water; health care; urban development and housing, and the infrastructure for tourism.
What are the prospects that implementation of the program might wind up falling short of its ambitious goals? Observers note that with oil prices continuing to weaken, Mexico’s public sector may not be able to adequately fund key elements of the program. Also, they question whether the country has the organizational capacity to pull off such an ambitious plan.
The News Tribune – Ceremonies are planned Tuesday in Brownsville to mark the first new international rail crossing between the U.S. and Mexico since 1910. The crossing will connect Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico.
Sentido Comun – Mexico’s agriculture ministry approved 129.2 million pesos ($7.8 million) for 85 basic infrastructure projects in rural communities with a population of under 2,500 inhabitants.
AP – In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s first debate of the U.S. 2016 presidential race, Republican candidates have sought to distinguish themselves from each other with ever-tougher positions on border security and illegal immigration, claiming current measures are failing.
And yet by many standards, the situation is not nearly as urgent as it was during last summer’s crisis and has improved steadily and markedly in some respects over the past decade or so — partly because of actions taken by the U.S. government, but also because of factors beyond Washington’s control.
El Siglo de Torreon – Mexicans trying to download or stream series and movies online at home encountered problems 71 percent of the time, said the Consumer Index 2015 Arris Entertainment.
PRNewswire – Sempra Energy’s Mexican unit Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova) has been awarded a $108 million natural gas transportation contract in Chihuahua by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
Railway Gazette – A consortium of Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana, its subsidiary Desarollo de Terracerias and Spanish firm Proacon has been selected to build an extension of Mexico City metro Line 12.