CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT

Mexico 2018 | ECONOMY | B2B

To boost the economy along the Caribbean coast, associations are working at various levels to create strategies that benefit society as well as the public and private sectors.

Adrián López
ADRIÁN LÓPEZ
President
Coparmex Quintana Roo
Eloy Peniche Ruiz
ELOY PENICHE RUIZ
President
Business Council of the Caribbean (CCEC)

How would you assess cooperation between the public and private sectors to foster development?

ADRIÁN LÓPEZ Recently, a new state government was elected, and the relationship with the private sector has completely changed over the past year, as it is more open to listening to the private sector. There are new opportunities to invest and new forms of relationships, such as associations between the public and private sectors for new developments and industries. It is a new phase, and we have more contact with the government every day. We are pleased with the relationship at this point.

Which industries in the region show great potential for growth?

ELOY PENICHE RUIZ The technology sector is important to us; we want to see progress in the development of this sector and have been seeing great results. We are developing programs to help enhance our worldwide connectivity, which has worked great. Some companies now export their technology programs. There are companies that have their offices in areas where hotels are located, which have amazing views and landscapes. In addition, the construction industry and the real estate sector are growing steadily in Cancún.

How would you characterize security in general and how is the private sector contributing to improving security?

AL It is a difficult topic for Cancún, especially because tourism is sensitive to security issues. The country as a whole is suffering a security crisis; Quintana Roo is not the exception. Coparmex formed a security roundtable that includes the federal, state, and the Benito Juárez local authorities, which corresponds to Cancún and Isla Mujeres, and got them together to work with the private sector and civil society representatives. We seek more resources for the police, with an increased budget, arms, and materials in general. We want to give greater recognition to the police in society.

EPR Safety is our priority since it is extremely important for Quintana Roo. We created a working table on security and justice in Cancún city and Isla Mujeres, where concerned citizens have come together to create solutions to prevent crime at the municipal, state, and federal levels. We work with the authorities to develop activities for society to minimize crime rates and related issues such as drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, and prostitution. One of our campaigns is to promote identity: Cancún is a new city and was established about 47 years ago. We have a high migration rate, and it is tough to establish our own identity. We are conducting campaigns to create a real sense of belonging here and develop pride in our city.

What is the general outlook in 2018?

AL We will be working on the minimum wage. Our agenda looks to 2030 to raise the minimum wage as it is a long-term proposal. Security is also on our local and national agenda, as well as competitiveness. The challenge is for the government to facilitate processes because the current system leads to corruption, which leads to another part of our agenda. We have been working on an anti-corruption system both nationally and locally. It is difficult for companies and the general population to carry out any process. We are working with the government and society to be more competitive, to make it easier for companies to grow their business. Although our main goal is tourism, there are certain parts of the state, mainly in the south, where we have to have other options. This includes agriculture as we have great products and this line of business has not been explored. There is also potential mining of sand and rocks and in the real estate market in Cancún, Isla Mujeres, and Riviera Maya.

EPR In terms of the economy, we do not know what to expect. As an organization, we want to continue to grow and if we are above 2.5% in 2018, this would be excellent. We want to make sure tourism companies here are ready to innovate and create new things. This is why we need to have greater collaboration between private and public companies.