After being uncovered as a candidate for governor of Yucatán, Renán Alberto Barrera Concha, PAN municipal president of Mérida, assures that public security and legal certainty will attract investments from 12 companies in 2023, including Netflix and a garbage compactor —which will export it to Germany and Spain in the winter.
“We estimate that between 20 and 30 companies have arrived in Mérida in recent years. And this year we will close between 10 and 12 new manufacturing, trade and services companies of international stature,” the Anahuac University Law graduate told Forbes México.
“The Netflix executives, with whom I was able to talk in California, are very interested in making a production center or hub here for the Yucatan Peninsula and we are in talks with them,” he adds.
“We are going to have a plant, which is the latest in technology: It is a turbine, to say it in some way, that will replace the sanitary landfill so that it processes the final waste and turns it into pellets, which will be exported via containers to Germany and Spain”, reveals the mayor.
Mérida, which concentrates 50% of the population of Yucatán, is the epicenter of the economic development of the peninsula.
Highlights legal certainty and security in Mérida
“What are the two main factors for there to be a favorable ecosystem for investment? Let there be legal certainty and public safety”, says the municipal president.
Renán Barrera was celebrating his Second Government Report, and received the support of Marko Cortés, president of the PAN, as well as deputy Santiago Creel and Governor Mauricio Vila.
With this combination, people can feel that their money to be invested will be respected by regulations and laws, as well as by a Rule of Law, declares the mayor, who at the age of 8 began working in the restaurant industry in Merida. At that age they gave him the task of manipulating a puppet to entertain children at family parties.
The mayor of Mérida for six years affirms that in his municipality criminals do not charge a flat fee, much less officials sell permits for the industry to operate.
“The scams do not generate more investment, but they inhibit the arrival of companies, and we have seen that companies in other regions of the country have closed, who decided to come to Yucatán to settle for the environment, quality of life and the cost of the life, legal certainty”, he highlights.
“Mérida has remained among the safest cities not only in the country, but in the world in recent years. We have reached the appointment as the second safest city in the entire American continent, only behind Quebec, in Canada ”, he assures.
More than 30 firms have arrived in Mérida
Renán Barrera says that in the last six years more than 30 companies with Mexican and foreign capital have invested in the metropolitan area of Mérida.
“Economic development triggered a greater professionalization and now it is invested in careers, such as engineering in Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Automotive Design. All those fields that did not exist are already an important offer in Mérida”, he says.
The industries, which today are not installed in the Yucatan Peninsula or were on a very low scale, are complementary with greater investment, he adds.
He presumes interest from firms like Netflix
He details that through the internationalization of the municipalities, a strategy promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), there were meetings with companies such as Google, Paypal, Uber and Netflix, so that the firms knew cities and the authorities their projects.
“As a result of that tour, we had the interest of Netflix to record series and movies here, and they raised the possibility of establishing a hub or a kind of warehouse to store all the infrastructure required for recording such as cameras, lamps, scenery, and carpentry,” he express.
The Netflix series Bandidos was recorded in Yucatan and is part of the efforts made by the authorities, he exemplifies.
The mayor states that they are in talks with Amazon executives, with whom he met in the city of Denver, Colorado, to create a training center for Central America.
He adds that Airbus opened a pilot school for airplanes and helicopters in the state, that Walmart and Mercado Libre set up their distribution centers, and that Accenture opened its contact center in Mérida.
“Mérida became an industrial hub, something that had not been seen for several years,” he highlights.
Garbage recycling plant in Mérida before the end of the administration
The mayor says that the workers of the city council are “true responsible of the good functioning of Mérida, since everything they do every day is amazing”.
“They collect 1,200 tons of garbage, which is equivalent to filling the Azteca Stadium every 10 days. By the way, before the end of this administration we will have the first compaction and recycling plant in the entire southeast and in the country that will turn our garbage into pellets in Europe ”, he explains.
The garbage collected in the parks, gardens, streets, avenues and houses of the capital will be used for the generation of heat in the winter season in the houses of Spain and Germany.
Renán Barrera explains that the investors have already signed contracts to sell the garbage from Mérida, and that the plant will be ready by mid-2024:
“(The plant to compress garbage) is a private investment of 3 billion pesos, which will generate first-world technology and we will not contaminate the groundwater table.”
The mayor says that he does not conceive of a divided and polarized society, because one of the main responsibilities of a ruler is to maintain harmony and unity in society.
It must be said that the world is not fair, but “I am convinced that the secret of the success of the city of Mérida was that we learned to grow with justice,” he points out.
Economic development and social development go hand in hand, since we use taxes to bring infrastructure to all corners of the city, he points out.
“Here we are not afraid of transformation, on the contrary in Mérida the transformation is in the spirit of its people,” he concludes.