May 10, 2019
1. Mexican Senate approves education bill
Mexico’s Senate has approved a comprehensive education reform bill during a special session following its rejection and subsequent return to the Chamber of Representatives. Now, it will be handed off to Mexico’s 32 state legislatures for final approval.
The reform’s primary points include the provision of a large budget for all public education, creation of a strategy to improve normal schools, and a greater degree of admission, promotion, and acknowledgment of teaching staff.
The opposition Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) voted against the bill, viewing the reform as a sale of teaching positions that will exclusively benefit teachers unions.
2. Petróleos Mexicanos and Secretary of Energy to build Tabasco refinery
The Federal Government initially called for a tender for the construction of a refinery in Tabasco, but President López Obrador cancelled the bidding after he declared that none of the participating companies complied with the established budget and date for its completion.
The project will be managed by state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and the Secretary of Energy. The project is slated for completion within three years at a total cost of MXN $160 billion (USD $8.35 billion).
3. Mexico ranked 25th in 2019 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index
Consulting firm A.T. Kearney published its 2019 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, an annual survey of global business executives that ranks the markets likely to attract the most investment in the next three years.
Despite falling to 25th from 17th, Mexico remains the only Latin American country in the index, and its score indicates it remains attractive to investors.
President López Obrador addressed the index during a press conference, displaying his confidence in the Mexican economy, low levels of inflation, steady exchange rate and recent investments from PepsiCo, BlackRock, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola as reasons to disagree with the index.
4. Consumer confidence declines in April
In a joint report carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and Mexico’s Central Bank (Banxico) revealed that consumer confidence decreased in April compared to the previous month for the second straight time. On the other hand, consumer confidence showed a y/y increase of 29.2%.
The Consumer Confidence report is based on a survey that polls Mexican citizens on the country’s economic outlook. The index increased over President López Obrador’s first months after taking office.
5. Mexican Supreme Court endorses current food labeling
El Poder del Consumidor, a consumer rights organization, filed a writ of legal protection before the Supreme Court insisting on changes to the labeling of foods and beverages stating that the current nutrition label is deficient and incomprehensible.
The writ was rejected and led by Justice Yasmín Esquivel and backed by Justice Eduardo Medina Mora and Justice Alberto Pérez Dayan. The final resolution established that current food labeling should not confuse consumers regarding the level of added sugars in many packaged foods and beverages.
After the Supreme Court ruled on the issue, El Poder del Consumidor stated they will take the legal case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.