Tamaulipas remains an attractive place to invest despite the adverse security situation in the state, according to the president of the Confederation of the National Chambers of Commerce (Concanaco).
The northern state — one of Mexico’s most violent — received US $1.32 billion in foreign direct investment last year, which José Manuel López Campos said was the eighth highest amount of all the country’s states.
During a recent visit to the border city of Reynosa, López also said that the figure was the second highest annual investment Tamaulipas had received over the past 19 years, attributing the state’s popularity among investors to its proximity to the United States.
However, Mexico’s northern neighbor isn’t the only country that is financing commercial ventures in the state. Spain, Japan, Finland, South Korea, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom also have interests, López said.
“The people of Tamaulipas should be proud that foreign companies come here because they believe in their abilities and they recognize the economic potential of this state,” he added.
López also said that even higher investment levels could be expected given that more than 20 new projects — in sectors including electronics, aerospace, auto parts and petrochemical — are slated to start in Tamaulipas this year.
Reynosa, he said, is one of the most competitive cities in the country and also one of the most attractive to both national and foreign investors. The business leader urged the local chamber of commerce to be ready to take advantage of new economic opportunities.
The city, which sits on the opposite of the Rio Grande to Hidalgo, Texas, was also the scene of a bloody gang war last May that left a high death toll and resulted in several red security alerts being issued by local authorities.
Violent crime has also plagued many other areas of Tamaulipas, including the state capital Ciudad Victoria, which ranked as the fifth most dangerous city in Mexico last year, according to a Mexican non-governmental organization.
A new factor that could reduce business confidence is the withdrawal of more than 2,000 soldiers from Tamaulipas following the recent breakdown of a security agreement between the state government and the army.
In total, Mexico received just under US $29.7 billion in foreign direct investment last year, according to the Secretariat of Economy, with the United States contributing 46.8% of the total followed by Canada and Spain, with 9.1% and 9% respectively.
Mexico City ranked first in the country, attracting just under US $4.6 billion investment in 2017, followed by México state, with US $3.9 billion; Coahuila, with US $2.26 billion; Nuevo Léon, with US $1.87 billion; and Chihuahua, which received US $1.7 billion in foreign investment flows.
Source: Milenio (sp)