Clean Tech Market Opportunities in Mexico: Part 1

The following blog post on the challenges and opportunities of reaching the clean water resources in Mexico was put together by representatives from our Alacrity Mexico team.

Alacrity is going through an exciting time with the announcement of new funds to support BC Cleantech companies in their expansions to international markets. We are preparing and connecting BC Cleantech companies with international export and investment opportunities. And while we’re working intensively to add more companies into the program, we are also looking at the potential international markets, due to our strong presence in key markets where there is strong growth potential.  

Our team travelled to Mexico last month to meet with high level government officials and to gain a better understanding of the market. There are so many exciting and promising projects in Mexico where Canada can contribute to local communities by the latest innovations developed in BC. These projects can also strengthen the relationship in North America between Canada and Mexico, as we see all relations going through the test of time nowadays.

We’ll present our findings about the Mexican market in two separate blog posts to reflect a comprehensive picture of the market potential.

beach, beautiful, bridge

Mexico is one of the emerging countries most open to foreign direct investment (FDI), the world’s fifteenth largest FDI recipient. FDI flows to the country and fluctuates strongly depending on the arrival and departure of large international groups. After reaching USD 26 billion in 2016, FDI slightly increased to USD 29 billion in 2017, according to the 2018 January Investment Trends Monitor published by UNCTAD.

The Main Invested Sectors in 2016 were Manufacturing industry (61.3%), Financial services (9.6%), Transport (5.9%), Mining (4.7%) and Electricity (4.3%). The water sector in Mexico has been very attractive to companies that offer very competitive high-end technologies.

Problems around water shortage and excess of water have forced the government, the main decision maker in this sector, to invest in waterworks and facilities to provide clean water, both protecting the land and providing clean water to as many inhabitants as possible. A new Public Private Partnership (PPP) Law has been approved which gives more possibilities to foreign companies to take advantage of government initiatives. The new government will have to follow this line of improvements and maintenance in this sector.

Green Bed of Water during Daytime

A cornerstone of the National Water Programme 2013 – 2018 is to guarantee drinking water access to 95% of the population. Water availability per capita has reduced from 18,035 m3/inhab/year in 1950 to 3,982m3/inhab/year in 2013. 35 million Mexicans have poor water availability in terms of both quantity and quality. This program also aims to promote technological modernisation, the use of treated water, and the maintenance of existing infrastructures. This calls for qualified process contractors for water supply, as well as sewerage system specialists. Recent meteorological circumstances have shown the need for investment in the Water sector in Mexico, particularly in Mexico City Valley, where major flooding showed the weaknesses of the system.

There is a sharp contrast in water availability between Mexico’s north-west and south-east regions. Whilst the former has only 31% of the country’s water resources (but 77% of its population), the latter has 69% of the nation’s renewable water (but only 23% of the population).

Free stock photo of city, sunset, people, landmark

Main opportunities in clean water area for Canadian companies are;

Desalination Plants

CONAGUA (Comisión Nacional del Agua), Mexico’s national water authority plans to build desalination plants in the states of Baja California Sur (Los Cabos), Baja California Sur (La Paz), Sonora (Hermosillo and Puerto Peñasco), and Sinaloa (Los Mochis and Mazatlán). CONAGUA has indicated that the new desalination plants will be built within the framework of the new Public and Private Partnership Law.    

Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants

CONAGUA and the Social Development Secretariat (SEDESOL) plan to upgrade existing municipal wastewater treatment plants that are in over 1,250 municipalities in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Chiapas and Michoacán.

Drinking Water for Public Schools and Recreation Areas:

CONAGUA and the Public Education Secretariat in the near term are planning to install drinking water fountains at public schools and public recreation areas in the States of Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chiapas, Guerrero and Mexico City. CONAGUA: plans the construction of wastewater treatment plants at the New Mexico City Airport.  

Our blog series will continue with a perspective on water resource sustainability efforts in Mexico. You’ll have a chance to read more on the opportunities for loss prevention, leaks, stormwater treatment, billing and the wastewater chemical market.


To learn more about our CleanTech initiative, visit our program page.

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