Remittances, key in Tijuana, Ecatepec, and San Cristóbal


In some municipalities of the country there is a strong economic dependence on what is sent from abroad

CDMX. – Due to the particularity of their cases and the effect on their economies, Tijuana, Ecatepec, and San Cristóbal de las Casas stand out among the municipalities in the country that receive remittances from Mexicans who send resources to their families, especially from the United States.

The most recent data from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) show that remittances continued to grow in Baja California, an entity that captured 376.20 million dollars during the third quarter of 2022.

Of that amount, almost 200 million dollars arrived in Tijuana, while in the two previous quarters it captured 175.59 and 188.65 million, respectively. Thus, in nine months that municipality accumulated 556.95 million dollars in remittances.

In addition to being the municipality that receives the most remittances in the entire country, Tijuana also highlights foreign direct investment that has benefited from the relocation of companies, also called nearshoring.

The researcher from the Department of Economic Studies of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef), Eduardo Mendoza, pointed out that, along with other municipalities, such as Mexicali, Tijuana is a great destination for remittances thanks to its proximity to southern California, USA.

Tijuana receives 50% of the remittances that arrive in Baja California, he specified, and although the amount of foreign currency reported by Banxico is remarkable, it could be higher in cash, since many Mexicans cross the border daily to go to work .

Considering official data, remittances do not exceed foreign direct investment, which continues to rise due to nearshoring in the north of the country, with an emphasis on services such as call centers and plants called twins, where companies take advantage of trained human capital , as deported Mexicans who speak English.

He affirmed that the transit of Mexicans that go from that municipality to southern California, the American retirees and the maquiladora activity, make Tijuana, a “satellite” commuter town, a dollarized economy where people can pay for purchases and services with dollars.

This is a characteristic that makes it distinctive from other migrant-sending cities, such as some in Michoacán, which are not close to the United States.

In the State of Mexico, another entity of the largest recipients of “migradolars”, Banxico reported a total of 905.79 million dollars in the third quarter of 2022, and Ecatepec was the most favored municipality, with 55.75 million dollars.

Although it is not in the first places for the total amount of remittances received, these resources are an important support for the economy and well-being of the local population.

Ecatepec is the fourth municipality that contributes the most to the Mexican economy, with 9.2% participation, according to the 2022 Municipal Index of Economic Activity (with preliminary information for 2021), with a GDP value of 152 thousand 986 million pesos, higher to 139 thousand 977 million pesos in 2020.

At the end of September 2022, Mexicans working abroad sent relatives in Ecatepec 171.4 million dollars, almost 3.5 billion pesos, representing 2.2% of their economic activity.

Chiapas received 846.30 million dollars between July and September and, of that amount, 162.8 million dollars went to San Cristóbal de las Casas. In total, at the end of the third quarter, remittances totaled 370.5 million dollars for that municipality.

In San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, these transfers are growing due to the migration of Latin Americans in transit, especially from Venezuela, seeking to reach the United States.

For the Director of Economic Statistics and Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Remittance Forum of the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA), Jesús Cervantes, the information on income from remittances from Tijuana and the metropolitan area of Mexico City (CDMX ) presents problems.

He explained that, in general, municipal statistics measure where remittances are collected, but not where the beneficiaries reside.

“A segment of remittances that are collected in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, may correspond to inhabitants who live in neighboring entities, such as the State of Mexico and Morelos, but are collected in the metropolitan area of Mexico City,” He said.

Regarding the expectations for remittances in a scenario of recession in the United States, Mendoza, a researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, said that, without a doubt, they will have an impact, because they are procyclical.

But that remains to be seen, as he recalled that during the pandemic they showed great resistance, and with the recent GDP data, the possibility of a recession in the United States seems more distant.

Source: Vanguardia