BY PEDRO BENITEZ-CRESPO
The Mexican Institute of Finance Executives – IMEF for its Spanish acronym, held its IV Tourism Forum in Los Cabos on June 2. This series of conferences, entitled “Sea, Air and Land”, were a meeting point for various local and foreign panelists interested in discussing and sharing their views on business and investment opportunities in Baja California Sur.
Among its guests was Jonathan Heath, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mexico, the country’s equivalent of the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) in the United States.
The forum was divided into three topics: Sea, Air and Land. “They are all elements that come together in this tourist destination. With respect to the sea, it is through nautical tourism activities, cruises and marinas. Regarding the air, it is the operation of the airports. Last but not least, land: tourist land and real estate Land”, said the President of IMEF.
The program, at the Westin Hotel in Los Cabos, began with an inaugural speech from Domingo Figueroa, National President of IMEF. The venue had room for 150 people, yet 200 attended on-site, while there were 150 virtual attendees as well.
“What we wanted is basically for people to attend. This forum was designed for all types of business people, and for those who wanted to know about what is happening in this wonderful destination, at a tourism and real estate level,” said Gabriela Gutiérrez.
The Sea panel was made up of Enrique Rivera, CFO of Marina IGY, Arturo Musi, National President of the Cruise Association, and Jaqueline Liceaga Vega, CEO of MaritimeGirls. This panel was moderated by Jesús Corral, IMEF Partner.
The Air panel was led by Francisco Villaseñor – Director of Los Cabos International Airport and Sarahí Castro, General Manager of La Paz Airport. Rodrigo Esponda, General Manager of FITURCA, moderated this round table.
Lilzi Orcí, Executive Vice President of the Los Cabos Hotel Association, Giammarco Vela, CEO of Grupo Sunset Da Monalisa and Roberto Lyle Fritch, President of the Tijuana Development Council (CDT for its acronym in Spanish) presided over the Land panel. The moderator was Yawhe García – CEO of Del Cabo Events.
The Real Estate sub-panel was comprised of Ana Karla Trelles, Director of Ronival Operations, Cosme López-Medina, Vice President of Ares Real Estate, and María Ocampo, Senior Account Manager for Moxi at Global Mortgage Company. The panel was moderated by José Ignacio Iturbide, President of the Developers Association.
The Forum closed with a keynote address by Jonathan Heath entitled: “Economic Prospects and monetary policy for Decision-making in the dollarized tourism sector.”
PhD Heath spoke about inflation and how it has been yielding little by little and, hopefully lowering to the target level (3%) in the next trimesters. Moreover, he pointed out several cases of global pressures influencing inflation and how they are adjusting downwards. As an example, he talked about sea freight prices. In order for a container from an Asian country to be delivered to Mexico, during pre-pandemic times, the cost was around US$1,000 dollars per container. Later on, throughout the pandemic, this cost per container multiplied times ten! Today we see normalized prices below US$1,000 dollars per container.
In terms of monetary policy, Heath also declared the end of the rate hikes from the current 11.25% per annum, in line with what the “Fed” is doing through its chairman Jerome Powell in the United States. This would delimit the restrictive monetary policy carried out so far.
The Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) in Baja California Sur has the presence of 40 partners, involved in real estate development and businesses related to the finances and economy of the destination. It is considered one of the most influential groups nationwide with more than 1,600 associates all over the country.