Full Report: Mexico
- President’s move to accelerate controversial ‘Tren Maya’ project will further increase reputational, commercial and legal risks for firms involved
- Lack of key risk assessments, competitive bidding process and solid local support will pose significant challenges to firms working on project
- Government will prioritise business travel over tourism, and prioritise access for countries that have slowed spread of COVID-19 domestically
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) on 1 June inaugurated construction of the “Tren Maya” (Mayan Train), one of his signature projects. The 1,475 km project will cost up to USD 8 billion, and will cross five states with high levels of poverty (Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Chiapas). Fonatur, the tourism agency, which is managing the project, has awarded three of the initial five sections of track to private sector consortia formed by companies such as Avzi (Spain) Mota Engil (Portugal), China Communications Construction Company and Mexican companies controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim. A fourth section was awarded without competitive bidding to ICA, another Mexican company. A separate contractor will be hired to maintain and operate the railway, which will serve both tourists and freight. Some construction will also be carried out by army engineers. The president said that no delays would be permitted, with the main route completed in 2023, and a further two track sections following in 2024.
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