Full Name: United Mexican States
Capital: Mexico City
Important Cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Tijuana
Government : Federal Republic
Political Situation: The President, since 2006 Felipe Calderòn Hinojosa, has a 6 year mandate – the next elections will therefore take place on the 1st of July 2012.
Territorial Divisions: One Federal District (of which the territori is that of Mexico City) and 31 Federal States (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro de Arteaga, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz ,Yucatan, Zacatecas)
Population: 112,336,538 (2010)
Urbanisation Rate: Influx of 1.2% per year
Ethnic Groups: Mestizo 60%, Amerindian o predominantly Amerindian 30%, White Caucasian 9%, other 1%
Official Religion: Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 5.2%
Official Language: Spanish
Superficie: 1,964,375 sq km
Terrain: Varies from high and rocky mountains and highlands to coastal plains and desert. Neighbouring Countries: United States, Guatemala and Belize
Climate: Varies from tropical to desert climate. In the North the climate is more dry, (56% of the territory) whilst in the South the areas are humid or semi-humid.
Public Holidays: 1-6 January, 5 February, 1-5 May, 15-16 September, 1-2-20 November, 12 -25 December
Time Zone: GMT -6
Passport and Visa: Passport is necessary with a residual validity of at least 6 months from point of entry into the country, Visa not required for tourism up to 90 days.
GDP Growth: 3.8% (2011 est.)
Inflation Rate: 3.82%
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (2011 est.)
Transport: 356,000 km of paved roads. The main international airports are those of Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Tijuana.
Economy: Mexico has a free market economy and is considered to be amongst countries of a medium-high range. It contains an eclectic mix of modern industry and export driven agriculture, and is becoming increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recently competition was expanded in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution, and airports. The GDP has shown a positive growth of 5.4% in 2010 and 3.8% in 2011. In 2010 Mexico was the seventh producer of oil in the world and the second main provider to the USA. The production of petrol has over the years however diminished, as has its importance to the Mexican economy overall. For this reason also there are interesting opportunities for the development of renewable energies in Mexico.
Primary Sector: The agriculture sector comprises 5% of the GDP and utilizes 14,9% of the overall workforce (6,668 539 people). The most fruitful crops include corn, tomatoes, sugar cane, dried beans and avocado. Mexico also generates productive activities through poultry, beef and dairy products. The NAFTA agreement implementation opened up the agricultural sector to the forces of the global market; some from the sector have greatly benefited from this wider access to the international market. In particular, exports of fruit and vegetables have risen. In any case, agriculture has now lost its fundamental role in the economy, which is mostly dominated by industry and services.
Secondary Sector: Four million people are involved in this sector, which consists of industries revolving around food and drinks production and manufacture, tobacco, chemicals, steel and metallurgy, mining, textiles, automobile. Only the sectors of transport, packaging and communications constituted 12.5% of the GDP in 2005.
Tertiary Sector: This sector, over the last decade, has become increasingly important for the economy, and in fact employs 26,9 million people. Services (shops, hotels, restaurants, IT and telecommunications, financial services) accounted for over 70% of the GDP. Tourism is one of the most profitable and important sectors in Mexico. In 2005 it constituted alone roughly 7% of the national GDP in 2008.
Renewable Energy: The achievement of energy security is a fundamental objective for Mexico, due to its large dependency on petrol and natural gas – that is why the nation has as its objective to reduce the risks inherent in fossil fuels, and will include within its energy matrix a larger portion of renewable energy sources. Therefore in Mexico there is a huge potential to develop projects concerning renewable energy sources and has, through efforts at a national and international level, demonstrated this dedication by adhering to protocols such as that of Kyoto. In the month of February 2008,a law for the promotion of and development of bio-energies was approved. The Mexican constitution reserves the distribution and the production of energy as an exclusive right; the form presented promotes the development of energy production from renewable sources and also encourages the participation of private actors. In September 2001 the Energy Regulatory Commission emitted specific guidelines on collaboration treaties amongst different types of renewable energies such as photovoltaic, wind power and mini-hydropower plants. Mexico is currently in the midst of the “Sectoral Energy Programme 2007-2012, within a wider program of sustainable development that pushes for and proposes alternative energy sources, recognising their growing importance for the economic development of the country.
Investment Incentives: Mexico is a Federal Republic, therefore one has to remember that its legislation is composed by federal and local laws that are emitted by single states. For what concerns entrepreneurial incentives certain agevolations are present. For example; the reduction of costs for the enterprise; bureaucratic simplification; the concentration of instruments of support to SMEs; the introduction of financial support for investments in the tourism sector with particular attention towards SMEs; the professional growth in tourism and the creation of dedicated assistance services; the development of regional plans that permit the individuation of the productive vocation of that particular region; the introduction of incentives in the associations and synergies within a productive cycle; there is a prediction of further financial appropriations and in the agro-food sector; the continuation of the housing policy and the ambitious objective of realising 6 million “low budget” households before the end of 2012.