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Mexican Sheinbaum Announces New Corporate Advisory Board

President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum has announced the creation of a business advisory council for her presidency, which will focus on regional development and Mexico’s nearshoring opportunities.

The Advisory Council for Regional Development and Business Relocation will be led by businesswoman Altagracia Gómez Sierra and will serve as a link between the private sector and the new government led by Sheinbaum, who takes office on October 1.

A man and a woman sit next to each other at a conference banquet table, leaning toward each other in conversation.A man and a woman sit next to each other at a conference banquet table, leaning toward each other in conversation.
Sheinbaum’s new business advisory board will be led by businesswoman Altagracia Gómez Sierra, seen here with Eduardo Osuna, director general of BBVA Bank’s corporate and government banking division, at the annual meeting of the Mexican Business Coordinating Council on June 19. (Galo Cañas/Cuartoscuro)

“It is a council of businessmen that will coordinate Altagracia and that will liaise with” government ministers, Sheinbaum said Tuesday after meeting with foreign and Mexican financial industry executives at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Conference, which was held for the first time ever in Mexico City.

Sheinbaum said that new Economy Minister Marcelo Ebrard, current and future Finance Minister Rogelio Ramírez de la O and future Energy Minister Luz Elena González will be among the government officials who will work with the advisory board.

Sheinbaum also said the council will provide her with a forum to connect with Mexican businesspeople.

Gómez, president of the cornmeal company Grupo Minsa, will lead “a council linked to the private sector, to encourage private investment related to regional development and the relocation of companies,” Sheinbaum said.

The 32-year-old businesswoman, who was included on Forbes magazine’s 2024 list of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico, is already working for the incoming president’s transition team in a role focused on nearshoring investments and regional development.

Sheinbaum did not reveal who else will be on the board that Gómez will lead, saying only that the members will be “various businessmen and businesswomen.”

Claudia Sheinbaum at the International Monetary Conference, behind a podium in front of a screen projecting a six-step investment plan for her new administration.Claudia Sheinbaum at the International Monetary Conference, behind a podium in front of a screen projecting a six-step investment plan for her new administration.
Sheinbaum’s administration has pledged to identify 10 specialized regions in Mexico. In each area, investments by certain business and industrial sectors would be prioritized. (Claudia Sheinbaum/Cuartoscuro)

After meeting with CEOs of major banks including BBVA, Scotiabank México and the Bank for International Settlements, Sheinbaum also told reporters that “there is a lot of interest in investing in Mexico,” where foreign direct investment is increasing as companies expand existing operations or relocate here in an effort to shorten supply chains and in some cases reduce their dependence on Asian countries, particularly China.

“We have a lot of enthusiasm for the next six years,” Sheinbaum said, adding that her administration’s goal will not only be to attract business investment but also to ensure that money flowing into Mexico leads to development across the country and generates “well-being” for all Mexican people.

“We talked (with the bank executives) about shared prosperity, which is the central axis of what our government will be for the next six years,” she said.

“…We talked about our development project for the country…and the infrastructure that we are going to develop,” Sheinbaum said, referring to the construction of new highways and rail lines, among other plans.

Sheinbaum also plans to create 10 “specialized” industrial corridors across Mexico, each of which will prioritize foreign and Mexican investment in different sectors.

“We are very excited about the role that Mexico will play in the years ahead,” the president-elect said Tuesday, noting that the USMCA trade deal and “other international agreements that our country has” make Mexico an attractive place to invest.

Ebrard, who also met with the bank CEOs, said the reception of the new government’s regional development and investment plan “has been very positive, because it is very definitive and specific.”

“…The investment climate we have is very good, perhaps the most optimistic we have seen so far this century,” he added, noting that in the first half of 2024, companies have made investment announcements for Mexico totaling more than $45 billion.

Sheinbaum also spoke with bank leaders about other aspects of her administration’s agenda, including energy and water plans. The president-elect has pledged to invest more than $13 billion in a renewables-focused energy plan, and is also committed to making water use “much more efficient” and building new water infrastructure, including aqueducts and dams.

The availability of water and electricity in Mexico is one of the biggest concerns of foreign and Mexican investors. Other concerns include insecurity, possible lack of respect for the rule of law and lack of infrastructure.

Close-up photo of Marcelo EbrardClose-up photo of Marcelo Ebrard
Sheinbaum’s new economy minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said IMC members responded well to Sheinbaum’s regional development and investment plan. The current investment climate in Mexico is “perhaps the most optimistic we’ve seen so far this century,” he said. (Mario Jasso/Cuartoscuro)

In an attempt to assuage concerns about a proposed justice overhaul that Congress will consider later this year, Sheinbaum said last month that investors in Mexico “have nothing to fear” and that “their investments in Mexico are safe, of course within the framework of our laws.”

The Mexican peso fell sharply after the country won a landslide presidential election on June 2, with a coalition led by the ruling Morena party winning large majorities in both houses of Congress, putting the party in a strong position to pass a raft of constitutional reforms.

However, the peso has since regained some of the lost ground and was trading at 17.83 per US dollar at 11 a.m. (Mexico City time).

With reports from El Financiero, El Universal, El Economista, El País and Reforma

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