AmCham members at a presentation of the security report. AmCham members at a presentation of the security report.

Six US firms have left over security worries

10 AmCham member firms suspended operations in order to relocate in Mexico

Security concerns in several Mexican states are triggering relocations or exits by as many as 31 U.S.-based firms.

A report by the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AmCham) says 10 member firms suspended their operations last year — for the purpose of relocating within Mexico — for reasons of insecurity, while six packed up and left, relocating either to the U.S. or Canada. Two more are in the process of leaving, according to AmCham’s 2015-2016 Business Security Report.

Thirteen firms are expected to relocate to more secure states this year by pulling up stakes in the State of México, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Guerrero, Coahuila, Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Mexico City and Aguascalientes.

The report said security concerns arose due to crimes that included extortion, theft, attacks on transport trucks and aggression against employees.

Almost half of AmCham members have been victims of extortion.

Despite that, 62% of the 330 member firms polled said insecurity had not affected their level of investment in Mexico during 2015.

That figure was one of the highest ever tallied by the report, said national director of foreign relations Erika Quevedo, who explained that it reflected the importance of the Mexican market.

Given the insecurity, AmCham firms made investments in equipment, training and security devices, representing an annual cost of between 2% and 10% of their budgets.

For AmCham president Ernesto Hernández, “there’s unfinished business” with regard to insecurity because the problem negatively affects investors’ trust and business growth, putting employees and facilities at risk.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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