Mexico is one of the most industrially advanced countries in Latin America (share of GDP including mining and construction in 2016: 32.7%; share of the workforce: around 25%). The most important branch of the manufacturing industry is the production of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, especially for the US market. Other important industries are the textile and clothing as well as the food, tobacco and household appliance industries and, increasingly, the electrical engineering and computer industries. Despite government efforts to decentralize, more than two thirds of industrial operations are concentrated in the capital region, Guadalajara and Monterrey; other larger industrial centers are Puebla, Mérida and the border region to the USA (especially the contract processing [ maquila ] industry).
Mexico is one of the world’s leading mining countries. The share of GDP is around 5%. Oil has been produced since 1901. With a production volume of (2016) 121.4 million t, Mexico is one of the world’s most important producers. The secured reserves amount to 1.1 billion t. The production of natural gas is (2016) 47.2 billion m 3. Almost all of the oil and gas reserves are limited to the Gulf Coast Plain and the offshore shelf (especially in the Gulf of Campeche); the main oil fields are in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche and Chiapas, the most important natural gas fields in the border area of the states Tabasco / Campeche / Chiapas and in the states Tamaulipas and Nuevo León in northern Mexico. The production, processing, transport and distribution of crude oil and natural gas as well as the petrochemical industry were previously reserved for the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) group. On August 11, 2014, private investors were admitted, in particular to counter the dramatically shrinking oil reserves through exploration projects.
When it comes to mining the mineral resources silver (2015: 5,592 t) and bismuth (606 t), Mexico is at the forefront worldwide. The production of lead (356,000 t), zinc (677,000 t), copper (540,500 t), cadmium (1,300 t), gold (124.6 t), sulfur (953,500 t), iron ore is also significant (21.4 million t) and hard coal (9.0 million t).
With around 34.9 million foreign visitors (mostly day trippers and cruise passengers), Mexico is one of the top holiday destinations in Latin America. More than 90% of the overnight guests come from the USA and Canada. The income from international tourism amounts to 19.6 billion US $ (2016). Locals are also increasingly involved in tourism; they represent the majority of the visitors in the cities and in many seaside resorts. The main attractions for vacationers are archaeological sites of ancient Indian cultures, colonial cities, diverse landscapes and beaches. Over 11,000 archaeological sites from pre-Columbian times are spread across the country. Besides the city, Mexico is particularly well-knownthe city complex Teotihuacán (“place of the gods”) 40 km northeast of Mexico, Monte Albán and Mitla near Oaxaca de Juárez, El Tajín, Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Tulum and Palenque.
While beach holidays have been known for decades in the seaside resorts on the Pacific (e.g. Mazatlán, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa), the coast of the Yucatán peninsula (Cancún, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres) was not developed until later. As part of border traffic, the cities along the border with the USA (Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo) also have high numbers of tourists. Visit cellphoneexplorer for North America Travel Guide.
Electricity generation amounts to (2016) 263.2 billion kWh; just under three quarters of the power plant capacities are accounted for by thermal power plants; the nuclear power plant in Laguna Verde has been in operation since 1989.
Since its expansion after the Second World War, the road has been the most important mode of transport (95% of public passenger transport and 80% of goods transport). In addition to private transport, which is also favored by the Mexican motor vehicle industry, bus routes play a special role. The trunk roads radiating out from the capital are the main arteries of the country. Of the 398 140 km of roads, over a third is paved. The most important connection is the 3,500 km long Mexican part of the transcontinental road Carretera Panamericana from Ciudad Juárez on the North American border via the capital Mexico to Cuauhtémoc on the border with Guatemala. The motorway network was expanded from less than 1,000 km in the mid-1980s to 7,200 km, mainly through concessions to private companies who levy user fees.
The railway network (20,825 km) was completely state-owned until 1995 (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México; dissolved in 2001). Since the division and privatization, the modernization of the outdated route network has been advanced.
Since a significant part of foreign trade is still carried out by land, coastal and maritime shipping is limited in scope. The most important seaports are Ensenada, Guaymas, Mazatlán, Manzanillo, Acapulco and Salina Cruz on the Pacific as well as Tampico, Tuxpan de Rodríguez Cano, Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos, Progreso and the oil port Dos Bocas on the Gulf Coast. Many of the ports have been privatized under the 1993 Ports Act. With the help of government funding programs and private investors, the port infrastructure is being expanded considerably.
The largest airport, with 41.7 million passengers (2016), is Benito Juárez International Airport in the capital Mexico, followed by Cancún and Guadalajara.