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Lack of commercial ships halts economic growth in Mexico
According to the specialists, “we largely depend on large maritime enterprises from all over the world, and on the services they provide, as well as the routes they establish.” - Photo: Yovanna Gaxiola/EL UNIVERSAL

Lack of commercial ships halts economic growth in Mexico

01/09/2018
14:37
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
-A +A
The lack of Mexican ships for international trade causes losses for more than 10,000 million dollars a year

The lack of Mexican ships for international trade is causing a flight of capital for more than 10,000 million dollars a year, which is spent on freight payments for products coming in and out of the country’s ports in ships from different nationalities.

Juan Carlos Merodio López, chairman of the Mexico Maritime Country Foundation and senior-partner at the M&L law firm, indicated that the flight of capital was “undoubtedly a very significant currency outflow.”

During the 24th Annual Congress of Shipping Agents, Merodio López commented that, according to the Maritime Report issued by the United Nations, all ships that are part of the world’s active commercial fleet make up for a gross tonnage of 1,860 million, servicing companies through different transport forms such as containers, tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers, and ships with hanging car decks, among others.

Sadly, the Mexican fleet is not even part of said report, since the gross tonnage reported in the national territory is of barely 4 million tons,” Merodio López stated.

To this day, the few transport ships holding a Mexican flag are mainly focused on off-shore and fishing activities to support the national oil industry.

“This vacuum in the number of Mexican ships is very costly for our country, and constitutes an important flight of capital,” stated the law expert.

Furthermore, Merodio López questioned bureaucrats and specialists who claimed that, in case the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was canceled, Mexico could diversify trade or strengthen the existing trade networks with other countries.

“But the question is: With what ships?” he stressed.

According to the specialists, “we largely depend on large maritime enterprises from all over the world, and on the services they provide, as well as the routes they establish.”

He explained that, in order to promote Mexico’s merchant marine, no fancy method or special subsidies were needed. “We simply need to resume measures that were once successfully in place in the country some years ago, and incorporate public long term measures that have been applied in other nations.”

He trusted that President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s upcoming administration would take action on this matter, giving Mexico an opportunity to develop an efficient and local merchant marine.

"Not only would it be a strategic tool to stimulate foreign trade, the merchant marine is also a great detonator of economic progress and an important employment source for all ancillary services that are inherent to this sector. It would also help in the sustainable development of oceans in the country and benefit every single Mexican citizen,” he concluded.
 

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