Given its privileged geographic location at the center of the American continent, dynamic international trade and high air passenger numbers, Mexico needs to expand and improve its highway, port, airport and rail infrastructure.
Although it has made progress in the infrastructure index of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, the second largest Latin American economy is still far from regional leaders Panama and Chile, ranking 57th among 138 countries, according to the latest version of the report (2016-17).
The task facing Mexico is not an easy one. On the one hand, public investment in infrastructure has been affected by budget cuts resulting from lower oil revenues. On the other, global volatility and its impact on growth have also hurt expectations. In addition, there is the uncertainty regarding the economic and trade policies of the new US government.
Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism. As seen in the last two BNamericas Infrastructure Surveys (2016 and 2017), industry players see Mexico as one of the most attractive countries for investments in Latin America.
That is mainly due to a favorable environment for private initiatives and investment through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and concessions, where business opportunities can be found in a wide range of projects from highway maintenance and construction to freight and passenger railways, ports and airports.
The positive investment climate has been strengthened recently with initiatives seeking to leverage PPP projects and new financial instruments, but industry observers say there are still institutional barriers and planning shortfalls that prevent a great leap in transport infrastructure investment.