American_Exporters_Mexico_China

American exports are on the rise and the U.S. has Mexico to thank for it. During the time when the American economy struggled to rebuild itself and its other trading partners from around the world decreased their imports by five percent or more, Mexico continued to stay true. By the end of November 2012, Mexican-based companies and American multinationals in Mexico imported $199.9 billion worth of goods and services.

There may still be a trade deficit between the U.S. and Mexico, but reevaluating the trade balance between China and other U.S. trading partners has served the Mexican economy well. Increases in production investments and American imports by American companies and Mexican multinationals will help bolster positive economic growth for Mexico.

To put these statistics into perspective, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Mexico, in 2011 American exports to Mexico added up to 13.4 percent of total U.S. exports that year.

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China Mexico Climate Change CO2 Laws

The Globe International alliance of lawmakers met in London on January 13-14 to discuss the roles and contributions of governments in a worldwide effort to suppress global warming.

18 out of 33 countries reported “significant” progress in a 2012 study of energy and climate laws; several of which are considered emerging economies. Mexico, China, South Korea, and India have all passed laws or created programs aimed at lowering CO2 emissions and preventing climate change.

Not everyone was given a gold star though as the report showed Germany, the UK, France, and Italy were among a group of countries that made no substantive change, while Canada went so far as to perform worse than recent years.

The Globe alliance hopes that encouragement to pass laws within these countries individually will create a clearer pathway for UN treaty talks and the implementation of a plan to lower emissions by 2015. To do this, the alliance pledged support in the form of political, analytical, and administrative aid for the next three years to the lawmakers who participated in London.

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Meetings in Mexico

Corporations and associations around the world continue growing the number of small, medium and very large meetings organized in Mexico. Mexico has recently secured about 300 events with global corporations such as Microsoft, Nike and Sony Corporation to host their company meetings in Mexico. And among associations, Mexico has recently won the bid for hosting the World Emergency Medicine Congress which is expected to host about 8,000 people coming from all around the world in Mexico City, and the Ophthalmology World Congress expected to have 8,000 attendees in Guadalajara in 2014.

As specific industries boom in Mexico, more companies and associations are also looking to organize their meetings in that North American country. For example, Queretaro is among the top booming cities around the world within the aerospace industry, so many of the companies that have a presence in that area are also organizing their internal and client meetings in that city. Something similar is happening with the Mexican automotive industry where Honda, Toyota, Audi, and Volkswagen, to name a few, are already organizing Mexico-based events given their local investments.

“In the Americas, Mexico is ranked #5 top meetings and conventions destination only followed by Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Vancouver, according to the International Congress and Conventions Association – ICAA,” said Carlos Collado, executive director at the Congress and Conventions Bureau in Mexico City.

Carlos Iván Pérez Marrufo, executive director of ProEventos managing two convention centers in Campeche added, “We are already having important events [in Campeche, Mexico]. People abroad are already seeing Mexico as a destination that offers the venues, the culture, the professionalism, and the enthusiasm and energy to lead these types of efforts.”

Meetings Industry Contributes to Local Economic Development

Mexico’s meetings and conventions industry is not just about the unique experience it brings to attendees. Among the key factors that Mexico seeks in promoting the industry is to look for local economic development for each market destination. In Queretaro, for example, a new convention center was recently opened in response to the increasing demand of aerospace organizations looking for convenient venues to host their events. 

Mexico has from small corporate retreats to huge summits or American or world association congresses. Mexico has everything for everyone in a very affordable way. Mexico is very well connected to the world as there are lots of direct flights not only to the main hubs as Mexico City and Cancun, but also to a lot of small or medium sized destinations.

North American PCMA Advisory Members Talk Mexico

In a recent Mazatlan-based event, dozens of North American meetings industry leaders gathered to share best practices with their Mexican peers. Watch a series of exclusive MexicoToday interviews where these leaders share their stories while in Mazatlan last November:

To watch the full list of videos on Mexico as a meetings destination, visit our MexicoToday YouTube playlist.

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Mexico City
Nissan Mexico Subcompact Car

Starting in the second quarter, Nissan Motor Company, the largest automaker in Mexico, will begin domestic production and export of its Note subcompact car. While Nissan plans to continue production of the Note in their plants located in China, India, and Thailand, export of the Mexican-made Notes will be throughout the Americas.

This will be the third model produced at the factory in Aguascalientes for Nissan, who produced over 683,000 vehicles last year, and solidifies Mexico’s position as a positive environment for auto production. An environment made possible by cheaper labor, logistics, and free trade agreements, according to some analysts.

Since 2009, Mexico has doubled their auto output and exports thanks in part to economic recovery in the United States as well as investments from foreign automakers. Mazda Motor Corp, Honda Motor Corp, and Audi are all in the process of opening factories of their own, but will have to fight hard to shrink Nissan’s 25 percent local market share.

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Aguascalientes
Rally Car through Guanajuato Mexico

This spring, Mexico will be hosting third round of the World Rally Championship as the first gravel event. The WRC consists of 13 3-day events held in various countries such as Australia, Spain, Finland and France.  Mexico will be holding the competition March 7th to March 10th and will have 23 stages that will span over a distance of 397 kilometers.

Their Guanajuato stage will be the longest of the rally at 54.9 kilometers.  The new tests are the SS2 Parque Bicentenario and the El Chocolate.  The test through Guanajuato’s Bicentennial Park was built through the cities of Guanajuato, Leon and Silao 2 years ago to celebrate 200 years of Mexican independence.  The El Chocolate test is the newest at 31 kilometers with some of the best views of the entire rally. On the last day of the rally a 5km footrace will be held called the “Carrera Atletica Rally Guanajuato Mexico” a few hours before the SS23 Super Special Stage 5. 

The Rally Guanajuato Mexico will kick off with the new and tough Shakedown/Qualifying Stage in Llano Grande on March 7th.  Tickets to the rally are available via the website.  The rally, with beautiful scenery in the mountains surrounding the cities of Leon, Silao, Irapuatio and Guanajuato, is an extremely popular attraction usually placing within the Top 5 rallies of the world.

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Guanajuato
Mexico Avocado Super Bowl Festivities

Regardless which team reigns supreme at the Super Bowl, you can be sure that Mexico’s avocados will dominate party festivities. As fans cheer on both teams, there is a good chance they might be munching on guacamole made from these avocados.

“Mexico, by far is the largest supplier of avocados for the Super Bowl,” said Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado Corp. In fact, there has been a dramatic increase in the Mexican product and a decrease in Chilean product for the Super Bowl.

So, just how many avocados does Mexico ship to the United States? Well, APEAM marketing director, Eduardo Serena, projects about 986 million pounds for 2012-13. That’s a lot of guacamole to go around.

In order to keep up production for international demands, specialists from the Institute for Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock (INIFAP) are conducting a research to implement strategies for avocado sustainability. This research highlights the fundamental role of forests and other environmental resources in generating water supply and soil conservation. These efforts will help secure avocado flows for many more Super Bowls to come.

On February 3, teams on both coasts – the 49ers and Ravens – will battle it out for the title of NFL champion, but it seems the real winner of Super Bowl XLVII is the Mexican avocado.

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Downtown Real del Monte Pueblo Magico

Nestled between canyons and peaks in the state of Hidalgo, lies the town of Real del Monte.  At an altitude of 8,900 ft, making the weather cool and the air crisp, it is one of the highest inhabited places in Mexico.  Real del Monte is popular place for vacation homes, as it resides near the capital city of Hidalgo, Pachuca.  

The town breathes an air of colonial architecture rooting from its history as a famous mining town.   Mining started after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, was later abandoned, and then reopened in the late 1730s. The town hit a peak in the industry in 1824 when an English company started to operate the mines.  The English company was a Cornish firm, who certainly left their mark on the town from the high slopping roofs to the “pastes” which are baked in the town and surrounding areas.  If you really fall in love with the pastes, you can attend the International Paste Festival held by Real del Monte every October.

If you can’t make it in October, there are still plenty of attractions to catch all year round in Real del Monte.  Churches, such as the Nuestra Señora de Belen parish and Guadalupe Church, each have their own historical attributes.  The Nuestra Senora de Belen parish contains a Christ effigy that was brought from Spain 500 years ago, while Guadalupe was built in the mid 18th century just as a new cemetery had to added due to a widespread epidemic.  

For something a bit more adventurous, you can visit old mines, such as Mina de Acosta, where you can take an underground tour.  The Museo de Medicina Laboral is a former hospital you can visit that used to care for injured or sick miners where you can now view the medical paraphernalia used.  Another attraction is the Cactus Museum where over 60 species of cacti are exhibited.  

Real del Monte boasts treasurers from another era from the old mines, to the 18th century building and the red-tile roofs.  The town is alive with the memory of the English, even earning the nickname “Mexico’s little Cornwall” from the Mexican Embassy in London.

The Pueblos Magicos program identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.

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On January 15-20, 2013, Mexican rally racer and MexicoToday Brand Ambassador Ricardo Triviño will be the only Americas rally driver to participate at the upcoming Monte Carlo Rally in Monaco which is considered the most difficult rally in the world. His participation in this prestigious event is how he will kick off the World Rally Championship (WRC) 2013 season worldwide.

The WRC FIA-NACAM 2012 champion Triviño, who is also featured together with co-pilot Alex Haro in the newly launched WRC3 videogame, will be among the very few participants willing to challenge those tough tracks following five intense days of driving in the highest mountains and elevations in Europe. 

The Monte Carlo tracks are very tough as drivers will need to manage racing with snow and ice on the asphalt tracks using studded tires. For drivers to be successful on those tracks they need to have the lead with expertise and highly focused.

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Wind Power, Mexico, new generation record, Wind Farms, Mexican Wind Energy

The latest figures from national power company CFE show that wind power in Mexico sent a record 282GWh to the grid in November, which is up 233% from the 84.5 GWh in the year-ago month. Mexico follows Brazil in the Latin American region with about 6.6 GW of installed capacity by 2025.

The Mexican Wind Energy Association projects the country’s wind power potential to be around 30 GW.

The region best suited for wind development is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. GWEC estimates that 10 GW of wind energy could be developed in the region, despite challenging wind and seismic conditions. Currently, 1.9 GW is under construction in Mexico and scheduled to come online by 2015.

Investment in wind power increased 68% between 2010 and 2011 and in 2012, Mexico’s installed capacity of wind power reached 1 GW, 2% of the national energy installed capacity, compared to the 519 MW of 2010. The wind sector is expected to duplicate by 2013 which in turn will generate between 30 thousand to 100 thousand jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%.

According to Mauricio Trujillo, Project Manager in Latin America of the Global Wind Energy Council, at today Mexico’s wind power sector is at the point where the Asian wind power sector was five years ago. This implies that Mexico is at the start of a very steep growth curve and can expect great advancements in the coming years.

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three kings day holiday is almost here

As the Christmas holiday comes to an end, one must not forget the fun celebration of Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes) because it is the perfect way to finish up the holiday season.  Celebrated on January 6, the festive occasion is filled with great food, lots of presents, carolers, and quality time with loved ones.  This particular holiday is especially joyful for children because they are involved in the taking down and raiding of the tree which happens to be filled with sweets and chocolate ornaments wrapped in foil.

Traditionally, on the night before Three Kings day, each child puts out a pair of their shoes so that when the Three Kings arrive they will know how many presents to leave. Each child receives one present and opens their gift on this holiday rather than on Christmas day.

A few of the culinary traditions that one has to look forward to are tamales, hot chocolate and king’s cake (rosca del reyes).  King’s cake is sweet bread in the shape of a circle, symbolizing a king’s crown.  Baked somewhere inside the cake is a small plastic figurine and whoever ends up with the figurine when the cake is cut is responsible for hosting the next holiday, Candlemas (la Candelaria) on February 2.

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virgin of guadalupe

Check out MexicoToday's latest articles on the holiday season!

Nochebuena and Christmas recipes

Guadalupe-Reyes is a marathon of holidays celebrated in Mexico from December through January.  The holidays consist of families spending time with one another and eating delicious food.  Markets are packed with eager shoppers, piñatas are hung for the children and presents are wrapped.

The festivities begin on December 12, with the celebration of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and end on January 6, with the celebration of The Three Wise Men.  December 16th commemorates the beginning of the Christmas season; the first evening of Las Posadas. 

On December 12, the patron saint of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe—better known as Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe—is celebrated.  This day is one of the most important holidays of the year.  According to the story on December 9, 1531 the peasant Juan Diego had a vision of the Virgin Mary on a hill just outside of Mexico City.  Three days later, Juan Diego returned to the hilltop at the direction of the Virgin Mary and placed Castilian roses, which are not native to Mexico and which were blooming on the usually barren hilltop, into his cloak.  He returned to his village and opened the cloak before Bishop Zumárraga.  The flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.  More than four hundred years later, this original cloak remains on display in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Every year, hundreds of people visit to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

December 12: Day of the Virgin of GuadalupeDecember 16-24: Las PosadasDecember 24: Christmas Eve (Nochebuena)December 28: Holy Innocent’s DayDecember 31: New Year’s EveJanuary 1: New Year’s DayJanuary 6: Day of the Three Wise Men

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Tapijulapa

Tapijulapa, Tabasco, is a small town home to crafts, nature and tradition. Whitewashed houses, red tile roofs, cobblestone streets and beautifully painted pots decorate the town. A zip line hovers overhead, and crosses the Oxolotan River. The town is famous for artisans who make furniture with regional vines, which the locals call “matusay.” The finished products are often referred to as wicker furniture. These wicker crafts have been made for over half a century, and can be found in the form of chairs, tables, baskets, sombreros and thousands of other items. 

The central plaza of Tapijulapa is adorned with trees and a gazebo. The side streets are decorated with the charming houses. The Oxolotan Convent rests on the banks of the Oxolotan River. Built around 1572, it has interesting and intricate architectural details. Now home to an art museum, the ex-convent showcases colonial pieces, oil paintings and wooden sculptures. 

Tapijulapa is nestled between the foothills of the Sierra madre del Sur mountains of the state of Tabasco. The State Reserve “Sierra de Tabasco” protects the last remnants of the forest Tabasco, and adds rich nature to Tapijulapa. The Amatan River drifts alongside one side of the town, and the other side is bordered by the Oxolotan River. The surrounding mountains, forests and river provide waterfalls, natural pools, botanical gardens and nature trails. The rivers provide refuge for hot summer days. These outdoor activities are encompassed by unparalleled natural beauty, with a wide variety of flora and fauna to appreciate. 

A setting perfect for enjoying nature is the Yu-Balcah, an ecological reserve. Visitors can walk into the jungle and observe endangered animals, as well as camp, bike, kayak and simply observe nature. The Kolem Jaa (The Greatness of Water) ecotourism center has a spectacular group of waterfalls. Scattered along the falls are botanical gardens and nature trails. 

Ancient tradition is also found in Tapijuapa. The Cueva de las Sardinas Ciegas (Cave of the blind sardines) holds a lake inside. Because the water is surrounded by darkness, the fish inside are blind. There was an ancient Mayan tradition to honor Chac, the rain god, where ceremonial fishing would occur. To honor this tradition, natives join in the cave on Palm Sunday to fish, and the amount caught forecasts the future crop. 

The Pueblos Magicos program identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.  

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Tapijulapa
ensalada de nochebuena

As Christmas is approaching, families are starting to buy the necessary ingredients to cook their holiday feasts.  Markets are packed full of people, running around buying last minute items.  There are so many components that go into making the perfect holiday meal.  Between Las Posadas, Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), and Christmas, families in Mexico are going to be full from eating all of the mouthwatering dishes.

Some of the items that are found on every Nochebuena and Christmas table in Mexico are:

Ensalada de Nochebuena: Christmas Eve colorful salad that usually includes lettuce, beets, pomegranate seeds, oranges, and many other ingredients. 

Pavo: turkey is native to Mexico and a popular choice for everyone’s household.  The turkey is usually roasted or served with mole. 

Tamales: cornmeal dumplings wrapped in corn husks; usually filled with spicy pork, beef, or chicken.  Tamales are time consuming to prepare so they are typically only eaten on special holidays. 

Bacalao: dried salted codfish that shows up in markets as the holidays are approaching.  Usually includes stewed tomatoes, capers, olives, and potatoes. 

Romerito: green leaf vegetable that is often served with shrimp cakes drenched in mole.

Pozole: hominy soup made with pork or chicken and served with shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, avocado and lime wedges.  It is made in large batches which is perfect for a large holiday meal.

Buñuelos: crispy fried treat sprinkled with sugar or doused in syrup and usually served with a hot drink. 

Ponce Navideño: Mexican hot fruit punch that sometimes has a splash of alcohol. 

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Checo Perez raises the Mexican flag after finishing F1 race.

Celebrated for his efforts in promoting and building the sport, Carlos Slim became part of the Hall of Fame of the Mexican Motorsport Federation (FEMADAC). When asked about the future of Formula One in Mexico, Slim reiterated that in order for Mexico to enter the F1 calendar, they must present a suitable project first. Some are hopeful Mexico will be able to get on the F1 race schedule in 2013. 

"There are many variables. It’s a big project; it has to be a national project, having a promoter that can coordinate the pieces around. Hopefully in the future we can have a Grand Prix back to Mexico," said Slim. 

Slim also participated in the unveiling of the Wall of the Carrera Panamericana in the events where he was the main protagonist and pilots Guillermo Rojas and the brand new World Rally Champion Benito Guerra attended the event as well. 

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Mexico City
PCMA Mazatlan

The meetings and conventions industry in Mexico continues booming as proven by the many events that have taken place this year, including such high-level and significant meetings as the G20 Summit of the finance ministers representing the world’s 20 largest economies, the B20 Summit of business leaders from the G20 countries, the T20 Summit of the tourism ministers from the G20 countries, and the G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit, among many others.

“The main advantages of Mexico as an international meetings and conventions destination are clearly the convenient location to most US cities; the affordability of both air and land especially with the increase in the number of all-inclusive options; the diversity of destinations from cultural to resort to urban; and the superb service culture that exists across the country,” said David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Company, a global leader firm in the meetings, events, and incentive travel programs. 

When speaking about its company’s plans in Mexico in the next years, Peckinpaugh added, “We continue to see a steady increase year over year of our business into Mexico. We are working closely with the Mexico Tourism Board to expand the education of our buyers and planners, to increase their knowledge on what is new in the destinations and to build the awareness around safety that is paramount with our corporate and association clients.”

Most recently, in November 2012, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) of North America held its 5th Annual Advisory Summit in Mazatlan, Mexico. Participants shared with MexicoToday their experience while in Mazatlan through a series of video testimonials, including:

Gary Schirmacher, senior vice president at Experient

Leigh Wintz, principal consultant at Tecker International

Michael Payne, executive vice president at SmithBucklin Corporation

James Rooney, executive director at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

James Wood, CEO at the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau

And the number of international meetings and conventions to be held in different locations in Mexico in 2013 throughout 2018 is already lining up, including:

• In 2013: 17th Congress of the International Society of Development Biologists – ISDB (Cancun); 64th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry – ISE (Santiago de Queretaro); and the 24th International Society for Neurochemistry Meeting (Cancun).

• In 2014: XIII International Congress of Parasitology – ICOPA (Mexico City); 11th World Congress on Nuclear Medicine and Biology (Cancun); 13th Pan American Congress of Dairy (Chihuahua); and the 19th World Congress on Information Technology – WCIT (Guadalajara).

• In 2016: International Congress of Ophthalmology (Guadalajara); and, the 21st World Congress of Echocardiography and Allied Techniques (Mexico City)

• In 2018: Congress of the International Society for Intellectual Property (Cancun); and the 17th International Conference on Emergency Medicine (Mexico City).

Meetings in Mexico contributed 1.43 percent to the country’s GDP in 2010 and account for 18 percent of total travel and tourism demand generating 18 billion dollars in revenue. Mexico also boasts sophisticated meetings infrastructure. With over 57 major convention and exposition centers across the country and half a million hotel rooms in more than 3,000 luxury hotels, Mexico is equipped to hold meetings of international caliber. Due to major infrastructural development and strong governmental support, Mexico saw a 25 percent increase in world congresses from 2010 to 2011, positioning the country as 20th in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings for 2011.

“If you haven’t experienced Mexico lately then you are missing out on providing truly exceptional experiences for your meeting and incentive guests,” added Peckinpaugh.

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Mazatlan