RIO DE JANEIRO — Israel invested over $2 billion in Mexico in 2016, representing the “greatest dynamism” among all other countries in economic relationships with Mexico compared to 2015, reported the country’s El Economista newspaper.
In a context of economic uncertainty in the United States, its neighbor and by far biggest investor, the Latin American nation saw a rise of $26.73 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, or FDI, last year, including the outstanding increase from $900 million to $2.01 billion from the Jewish state.
Mexico and Israel held recent talks to expand FDI and lower tariffs, a Center for Economic and Budgetary Research analyst told the newspaper, stressing that Mexico is one of the countries with the most free trade agreements in the world.
Mexico’s cheaper labor force and its situation as a “springboard to the US” attracts FDI, including from Israel. Also, Israel’s investment is mainly in services, a Tecnologico de Monterrey Center for Research in Economics and Business coordinator told El Economista.
Mexico and Israel have been facing a diplomatic uproar in the aftermath of a tweet in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seen as supporting US President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants. After the incident, Netanyahu said his nation and Mexico “will continue to have good relations.”
The United States maintained the lead in investment in Mexico in 2016 with $ 10.41 billion (38.9 percent of the total investment), followed by Spain (10.7%), Germany (9.0%), Israel (7.5%), Canada (6.3%) and Japan (5.7%), according to data from the Mexican Ministry of Economy.