The infrastructure industry faces significant challenges in the face of a sectoral dichotomy. “Mexico is within the Top 15 world economies but it is also ranked 62nd in competitiveness,” said Marcos Orduña, National Vice President of the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC), during Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Summit 2018 at Hotel Marquis Reforma in Mexico City on Wednesday.
Orduña is convinced that this contradiction is related to funding. “De-investment in infrastructure has been constant during the last couple of years. The current administration will end in the red,” he said.
Fortunately, the lack of public investment has been countered by private money, which according to CMIC’s statistics grew to 76.6 percent in 2017 compared to the government’s 23.4 percent. “The challenge is to boost public investment. We are asking the government for 5 percent of GDP, which is aligned with CEPAL standards of 5 to 8 percent,” Orduña said. “This equals an annual expenditure of MX$625 billion to meet infrastructure needs.”
Besides outlining industry problems and needs, Orduña emphasized his view of the ideal infrastructure agenda. “First, we need a projects bank regardless of who is ruling the country,” he said. “Mexico needs to be intercommunicated from the Gulf to the US border.”
CMIC believes the ideal agenda for infrastructure work should be based on five main axes: the creation of an autonomous institute for long-term infrastructure planning, combating corruption, a focus on fostering the development of Mexican companies, validating and certifying construction companies and an infrastructure financing scheme.
Orduña is confident that the private sector will continue placing its bet on the country’s infrastructure. “The money to finance infrastructure can come from the projects themselves but these need to have a well-planned executive blueprint first.” CMIC has already opened the discussion with incoming Minister of Communications and Transport Javier Jiménez Espriú. “He seems to be open to our proposals,” Orduña said.
Despite current hurdles, Orduña remains optimistic about the industry’s future. “We are well-placed at a business level and the country has good prospects,” he said. “CMIC is striving to find common ground between public and private interests.”
Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Summit 2018, organized by Mexico Business Events, is also the launch event for the third edition of Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review, a publication by Mexico Business Publishing.