Yucatan’s economic growth outpaces Quintana Roo

But wages remain below average, and far behind Cancun's

Yucatan's economy is growing faster than Cancun, according to federal statistics. Photo: El Financiero
Yucatan’s economy is growing faster than Cancun, according to federal statistics. Photo: El Financiero

Despite Quintana Roo’s tourist hot spots on the Caribbean, Yucatan’s economy is growing faster.

Yucatan is among the top states in Mexico for economic growth. But wages and deforestation remain a worry for researchers.

According to the Quarterly Indicator of State Economic Activity (ITAEE) the July-September 2018 quarter found 4.3 percent economic growth, year-to-year, in Yucatan.

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Baja California Sur, Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Oaxaca, Campeche, Nuevo Leon and Mexico City accompany Yucatan on the list.

“Merida is the best city (for safety)” remarked the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group.

Investors have noticed Merida’s network of high-tech surveillance software and artificial intelligence that detects suspicious vehicles, according to the report.

There are several other factors that economists say are fueling Yucatan’s economy.

One is the infrastructure. The state expanded the roads to Puerto Progreso from Merida as well as a rail line — not the Mayan Train — that ultimately connects the Peninsula to Houston. In parallel, that is accompanied by a natural gas pipeline to the new industrial zone of Hunucmá, where, among others, a Grupo Modelo plant has already been built.

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While the natural-gas pipeline takes shape, a wind farm in the agricultural municipality of Tizimín will reduce Yucatan’s dependence on fossil fuels. 

The second factor is the rise of companies and entrepreneurs such as José Manuel Madero Garza, head of Coca-Cola bottler Grupo Bepensa; and Roberto Kelleher Vales of Inmobilia — best known for Via Montejo and Country Towers.

The third is technological. Yucatan’s Special Economic Zone brings tax incentives to invest in the “fourth industrial revolution.” It has ushered in companies like IT developer Plenumsoft, which competes with giants in Monterrey such as Softtek and Neoris.

Finally, in a country that in places lacks for water, the Peninsula has lots of it. In times of climate change that counts a lot, if Yucatan can only safeguard its purity.

Yucatan’s downside is also obvious: Deforestation and the huge wage gap. Trees disappear quickly at the mercy of new real estate developments and wages are not growing at the pace of the economy. 

A Merida wage averages 6,856 pesos a month, according to the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness. That is below average among the others on the list, and is behind Cancun’s 7,942-peso average wage.

Sources: El Financiero, Sipse

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