Mexico, the land of culture and flavorful cuisine finds itself in a bit of a pickle as its dependence on imported corn continues to grow. Three years have passed since the implementation of the Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (T-MEC), yet the country's corn self-sufficiency rate has taken a nosedive. International consultations on genetically modified grain have further complicated matters, leaving Mexico yearning for corn like a taco yearns for its salsa.
Astoundingly, this year's corn imports are expected to reach a record-breaking 18.2 million tons, a staggering 13.3 percent increase compared to the year the T-MEC came into effect. As a result, Mexico's self-sufficiency rate will plummet from 65 to 64 percent, with occasional dips to 61 percent throughout the year. Let's hope this doesn't lead to a nationwide tortilla crisis, or else we'll be in a state of taco emergency.
In the realm of automobiles, Mexican automakers find themselves engaged in a fierce battle for highly skilled employees. A recent survey conducted by Kelly revealed that a whopping 78.4 percent of industry leaders believe that workers with specialized profiles hold the key to the industry's success. The demand is high for individuals well-versed in mechatronics, process engineering, production and maintenance, quality engineering, design, and electronics. It's a race to recruit the crème de la crème of the automotive workforce, as the industry undergoes a transformative phase.
On the healthcare front, there is promising news for those battling diabetes in Mexico. The renowned U.S. pharmaceutical company, Lilly, and the esteemed Clínicas del Azúcar have joined forces to expand their presence in the country. Their goal is to double the number of establishments, currently standing at 37, across 17 states within the next three years. With this expansion, they aim to provide care and support to one million diabetics, helping them to lead healthier lives. A sweet victory in the fight against a bitter disease!
Meanwhile, a Chinese chemical company, Jiahua Chemical, is making waves in the industrial landscape of Mexico. The company has announced a groundbreaking investment of 20 million dollars in a new polyurethane plant. This state-of-the-art facility will be located in the picturesque city of Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila. The investment not only symbolizes a boost in Mexico's economy but also strengthens the ties between China and Mexico in the realm of industrial development. It's a fusion of cultures, expertise, and investment that will shape the future of polyurethane production.
In a land where blockades seem to be as common as spicy salsa, road blockades are causing more than just traffic troubles. The repercussions extend to airport closures, inconveniencing both travelers and airlines alike. It's a thorny situation, forcing airlines to navigate around the prickly challenges of Mexico's transportation landscape. Let's hope these obstacles are cleared swiftly, and the skies open up for smooth journeys.
In a legal twist, the court has reinstated antitrust measures against Pemex, the state-owned petroleum company, dating back to the 2014 energy reform. These measures, known as asymmetric measures, were initially eliminated by Congress in 2021. However, the court's decision brings them back into play, adding a new chapter to the ever-evolving saga of Mexico's energy sector. It's a courtroom battle that could have far-reaching implications for Pemex and the country's energy landscape.
Lastly, we turn our attention to the plight of certain municipalities in Mexico, where gas stations are as scarce as a tequila shot in a desert. According to the Energy Regulatory Commission, a whopping 936 municipalities, predominantly in the southern regions, do not have a single gas station. These areas find themselves thirsting for fuel, with citizens needing to travel considerable distances to fill up their tanks. It's a reminder that while Mexico is a land of vibrant cities and bustling towns, there are still some places where the fuel flow is as dry as a crumbly corn tortilla.