Monday, April 16, 2012

From San Antonio Express News: Mexico's Economy on the Right Path

Mexico's economy on right path

Updated 08:00 p.m., Friday, April 13, 2012
The business sections of the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle last year collaborated on a series of in-depth articles on Mexico's expanding economy, especially its manufacturing and exporting sectors — a story less told than Mexico's drug-smuggling and organized crime wars.
The economic expansion continues in Mexico in ways the United States should notice and even admire. That was the message Friday morning when former Trinity University economics professor Jorge Gonzalez delivered an update on the Mexican economy to the Latin America Caribbean Forum monthly breakfast.
Mexico is an economy with a growing middle class, a manageable government debt and a strong currency. A growing threat to the Mexican economic well-being is, believe it or not, the uneven U.S. economic recovery and its rising federal debt.
That's because the Mexican and U.S. economies have been intertwined since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994, said Gonzalez, now dean and vice president of academic affairs at Occidental College in California.
Back then, Mexico's poverty rate hovered at around 50 percent. It has since shrunk to 35 percent. The middle class now accounts for about 55 percent of the population.
The larger Mexican middle class is significant for this year's Mexico presidential election. A larger middle class is less likely to vote for an extremist candidate, Gonzalez said.
Mexican migration has slowed to a trickle. The best statistics, Gonzalez said, show that net migration to the United States last year was close to zero. A falling birth rate in Mexico also reduces pressure on the Mexican government to generate jobs, he added.
So many economic measures are going the right way in Mexico. Inflation in 2011 was 3.82 percent. In 1995 it was 51.97 percent.
Foreign direct investments, which is foreign companies building factories in Mexico, totaled a strong $19.4 billion in 2011, up from $16 billion in 2009. “Imagine what it would be if we didn't have to fight the drug dealers,” Gonzalez said.
The money Mexican workers in the United States sent to their families in Mexico totaled $22.7 billion in 2011. Many Mexican workers in the United States earn between $20,000 and $25,000 yearly and send half to their families.
Mexico's central bank holds a record $142.5 billion in reserve, a sum ready to tackle any financial crisis. Mexico's exports and imports are in near perfect balance, Gonzalez said.
Mexico still needs to address its rule-of-law issues, its poverty rate and reforms in the fields of labor law and energy investment, Gonzalez said. But the biggest threat to Mexico is the next U.S. economic downturn, whenever that happens.
“Ninety-nine percent of Mexicans are going to work and school every day, making the economy stronger,” Gonzalez said.
“This is a cautionary tale for what is happening in the United States now,” said lawyer Rob Barnett of San Antonio's Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton law firm that does a large volume of business in Mexico.
“Jorge's presentation was full of irony,” Barnett said. “The United States once talked to Mexico almost like a parent to a child. Now the tables have turned.”

Read more:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

San Diego World Trade Center Port Study Tour

BHI President Tom Van Mouwerik participated in an interesting day visiting Southern California ports with the San Diego World Trade Center March 28.

The group  first visited the Port of San Diego.  Bananas and bulk commodities seem to be the main focus of this small but busy port.  Next they travelled to the National City terminal where thousands of  cars, including some exotic vehicles come into the US.  Then, the group went to the Port of Long Beach, and important point for trade into and out of North America.

Lastly, the group sat in on a seminar in titled: Will We Survive or Thrive in 2025? The Future of Southern California Goods Movements.  Cal State Long Beach and the Center for International Trade and Transportation put on this informative seminar.

Follow the links to learn more about the San Diego World Trade Center and the Center for International Trade and Transportation

Below are some of the pictures Tom took on the tour:

Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 Transportation Intermediaries Association Convention, San Antonio, TX

Another great TIA convention this year.  The Lone Star State was home for the largest gathering of the most successful and best managed 3rd party logistics companies in the nation.

As always, we had a booth in the Trade Show.  There,  we got to visit with old customers, make new customers, and rub elbows with the titans of our industry.

Joining us this year at the booth was Eric Miranda.  He did a great job explaining the "The Bill Hay Way" of moving freight into and out of Mexico to show attendees.

Prior to the show, Eric and company President Tom VanMouwerik took a few days out and got a chance to visit many of our service partners in Laredo, TX.

Since the 2013 TIA Conference is in Las Vegas, NV,  the whole crew has volunteered for Trade Show duty!