After the presentation of the 2023 Economic Package, the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) expressed its concerns about the percentage of the infrastructure budget allocated to major federal infrastructure projects like the Mayan Train.
During a press conference, Mario Correa, President of the National Committee of Economic Studies, IMEF said that even though the federal government assigned more resources to the development of infrastructure, this is not sufficient as the resources are focused on President López Obrador’s key projects, which are located in a few states.
The Economic Package reports an increase in budget of 21.7 percent in real terms for 2023. According to the document, three projects stand out for being the ones that will consume more resources: the Mayan Train will require over US$7.1 billion, the Interoceanic Corridor will receive US$250 million and for the first stage of the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca the government will allocate US$250 million. The document also highlighted that in the southeast region, the government is promoting private investment via financing packages for key infrastructure like roads, optical fiber networks and ports.
According to Alejandro Hernández, President, IMEF, the problem with the federal government focusing on key infrastructure projects is that they are concentrated in just a few states, while those remaining need more resources to develop projects to attract investment and reactivate their economies, which in the long term could affect the economic performance of the entire country.
IMEF also criticized the optimistic approach of the package since it does not consider real growth or the real financial cost of the debt. According to IMEF’s estimations, the economic growth for 2022 will be 1.9 percent and the inflation rate will close at 8.1 percent, while the Ministry of Finance (SHCP) estimated that the GDP would grow at 2.4 percent with an inflation rate of 7.7 percent.
This is not the first time that industry experts have criticized disparity in resource allocation for infrastructure projects. Fernando Solares, President, Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC), complained about the Mayan Train, which he considered gave Tabasco a great amount of investment while Aguascalientes received less than 0.1 percent of the infrastructure budget. He also criticized projects like the dos Bocas Refinery, as the benefit only major developers and shove smaller construction companies aside.