A warm welcome for Peña Nieto in Canada.

A warm welcome for Peña Nieto in Canada

Prime minister confirms visa removal; president removes beef restrictions


Trudeau jogs this morning in Ottawa with Peña Nieto. 

Trudeau jogs this morning in Ottawa with Peña Nieto. CBC NEWS

Canada’s prime minister told a press conference yesterday that Mexicans will no longer be required to obtain a visa to visit Canada effective December 1.

The announcement, not unexpected, came after a private meeting this morning between Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is in Ottawa for a state visit and tomorrow’s North American Leaders — or Three Amigos — Summit.

Trudeau said Canada will work with Mexican immigration officials over the next few months to iron out the details. Canadian officials have said off the record that visa restrictions could be reimposed should the number of Mexican refugee applications soar as they did in 2009 before the visa requirement was implemented.

It was reported this morning that in exchange for lifting the visa requirement Mexico has agreed to fully reopen its market to Canadian beef, a restriction that was imposed after the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in Canadian cattle in 2003.

Mexico initially banned all Canadian cattle and beef imports but today the ban only applies to cattle or beef from cattle that is over 30 months old. Despite that, Mexico is Canada’s third most important market for beef exports due to a growing appetite for beef among middle-class consumers and its geographical proximity, reported CBC News yesterday.

Peña Nieto said this morning the cattle import restrictions would be lifted in October.

Trudeau said the visa decision will permit Mexican citizens to travel to Canada and grow the relationship between the two countries. Peña Nieto saw the decision as an effort to remove obstacles and strengthen the relationship.

The president said 14 agreeements are being signed during his visit. They include broadening student exchanges, further sharing of information regarding security, promoting the development of indigenous peoples and boosting tourism.

Peña Nieto arrived in Canada Sunday night, landing in Quebec City. He was given a welcome ceremony yesterday by Governor-General David Johnston, as well as a welcome by demonstrators protesting the events in Iguala in 2014, in which 43 college students disappeared, and the more recent violence in Oaxaca.

“Oaxaca, Quebec is with you,” read one placard.

Later, Peña Nieto traveled to Toronto for an official dinner with Trudeau and about 300 guests. Trudeau toasted Peña Nieto by observing it had been six years since the last visit by a Mexican president to Canada. “. . . six years is too long to wait for visits between friends.

“Of course, Canada and Mexico are more than just friends. We are partners, and it’s what we share as partners and friends that I’d like to celebrate tonight. We share a continent, but we also share connections between people.”

Trudeau said the two countries want a relationship that allows for “greater trade, stronger growth and more job creation.”

He recalled that Mexico had sent firefighters to Fort McMurray, Alberta, to help fight that province’s huge wildfire in June. “That kind of help is exactly what good friends do. We appreciate it and we will not forget it.”

In response, Peña Nieto said, in Spanish, “You will find in Mexico a partner and you will find a friend in me.”

More protesters, angry that Canada welcomed Mexico’s president after the clashes in Oaxaca, greeted the president as he arrived at the dinner.

Today, the two leaders began the day with a morning run in Ottawa. Tonight the governor-general will host a state dinner in Peña Nieto’s honor.

Tomorrow they will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama for the Three Amigos Summit.

The improved relations between Mexico and Canada will be warmly welcomed by businesses and business organizations, particularly in Canada, where they have been calling for several years for a renewal of the relationship.

It soured when the visa requirement was introduced and remained chilly until Trudeau won election last October. He was expected to eliminate the visa after promising to do so during the election campaign.

Source: Milenio (sp), CBC News (en)

– See more at: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/a-warm-welcome-for-pena-nieto-in-canada/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Daily&utm_campaign=15f77522a6-June+28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-15f77522a6-349041361#sthash.Rj95oWgY.dpuf

Frontier Airlines schedules winter flights to Puerto Vallarta.

frontier airlines puerto vallarta

Frontier Airlines schedules winter flights to Puerto Vallarta

The tourism region comprised by the Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta continues to be a very attractive market for US airlines—especially during the wintertime. This is why Frontier Airlines has opened up reservations for a new seasonal route from Chicago O’Hare to Puerto Vallarta for winter 2016.

The winter flight will depart from O’Hare International Airport to the Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport and will fly four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The inaugural flight will take off on October 31, 2016 and the last one will depart Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

“I think word has gotten out on the success of our new flights, but we must say the regular flights have also proven to bring in an excellent number of passengers,” said Marc Murphy, Managing Director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We hope to be announcing even more new flights from our natural markets and hope for the same from our emerging markets, as well.”

Frontier Airlines is a US low-cost carrier with nearly 20 years of service. The plane used by the airline will be an A319 with 156 seats. There will be a total of 86 flights during the six months of this seasonal service.

Mobile phone rates 2nd lowest in Lat-Am for Mexico.

Mobile phone rates 2nd lowest in LatAm

Telecommunications costs dropped 23% with reforms, says SCT


mobile phone users 

They’re paying less now.

Two years after the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto implemented its telecommunications reform package, Mexico’s mobile phone rates are among the lowest in Latin America, according to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT).

“Between June 2013 and December 2015, the price of telecommunication services dropped on average 23%,” said SCT chief Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

Ruiz said the elimination of domestic and international long distance rates to North and Central America had a major impact on the decline.

The savings for end users amount to more than US $1 billion a year due to mobile phone rates that are 28% lower and a 41% drop in international long distance charges.

According to the telecommunications company Telecos, Mexico ranks 26th for the lowest phone rates among 140 countries. Mexico also has the second-lowest rates in Latin America after Costa Rica.

For broadband data charges, Mexico ranked 25th internationally and fifth in the region, behind Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil and Panama.

These results match those of other studies, such as one performed by the Brazilian Telecommunications Association, where Mexico ranked among the lowest in prepaid mobile phone rates.

The telecommunications reforms, explained Ruiz Esparza, have allowed for a competitive market that’s also open to domestic and international investors, fostering the entry of new competitors.

Before the reforms, he continued, foreign direct investment in the sector amounted to less than 1%, whereas today it is one of the most attractive markets for foreign investors, bumping the percentage to nearly 10%.

The Communications Secretary also observed that the transition from analog to digital television freed up the 700-megahertz radio frequency band, which will be used to install a mobile services shared network, making available 4G networks to twice as many Mexicans, representing an additional 40 million mobile phone users.

Ruiz Esparza was speaking at the Fourth Latin American Telecommunications Congress, held this past week in Cancún.

Source: La Razón (sp)

– See more at: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/mobile-phone-rates-2nd-lowest-in-latam/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Daily&utm_campaign=f689c3cc79-June+25&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-f689c3cc79-349041361#sthash.aqopnvQA.dpuf

W Punta de Mita opens its doors for a society and press cocktail.

W Puta Mita

W Punta de Mita opens its doors for a society and press cocktail

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s new W Punta de Mita opened its doors for a society and press cocktail on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The new W Puta de Mita hotel brings a refreshing twist on resort travel with a focus on alternative luxury and natural attractions.

“It’s a pleasure to have you here with us tonight,” said Brian Segrave, the hotel’s General Manager, welcoming guests just before a Huichol ceremony that focused on bringing positive vibes to the place. “This is a very important night for us because we’re celebrating that Mexico is the first country in Latin America with two W hotels.”

“This opening reconfirms our commitment to bringing our world class brands to the world’s most idyllic locations,” commented Jean Marc Janod, VP of Operations for Starwood in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“The W Punta de Mita is definitely a unique alternative in the Riviera Nayarit,” said Marc Murphy, Managing Director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It dovetails nicely with several of the central concepts we’re promoting for the destination and its inauguration is perfectly timed to boost our hotel offer.”

The building’s interiors are very colorful, showcasing elements of the Huichol, or Wixarica, culture together with contemporary Mexican touches for a totally trendy blend. Other outstanding elements of the presentation included delicious culinary offerings and innovative mixology, as well as a youthful atmosphere with electronica playing throughout the evening.

The resort is steeped in Sayulita’s unique style, with surfing elements and designs from the Revolución del Sueñoshop, which revolve around colorful characters from Mexico’s history such as Frida Kahlo and Emiliano Zapata. Speaking of surfing, the hotel is located on Playa Los Veneros, one of the Riviera Nayarit’s hottest surf beaches.

W Punta de Mita has 119 villas and one Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s presidential suite). It’s located in the Costa Banderas development at Km 8.5 on the La Cruz de Huanacaxtle-Punta de Mita federal highway. For more information check out their official webpage at: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=4365.

The first Nayarit Ocean Fest scheduled for June 26

Nayarit Ocean Fest

The first Nayarit Ocean Fest scheduled for June 26

The first Nayarit Ocean Fest will take place next Sunday, June 26, 2016, on the grounds of the B Nayar Village & Resort in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

The purpose of this family-oriented event is to showcase the incredible Bahía de Banderas while focusing on its conservation. It’s organized by Timothy Real Estate Group and has the full support of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The entry fee is MX$50 for kids and MX$100 for adults. The money is earmarked for the La Cruz Education Fund via the Punta de Mita Foundation.

There will be tons of water activities for young and old with the participation of some of the members of the Mexican Stand Up Paddle team, including Sayulita’s Javier “Bicho” Jiménez and Oliver Cruz, from Lo de Marcos.

Competitions run from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and include SUP sprints, an SUP polo match open to 20 teams, a Starship race (basically a board that can carry several people) for four teams and SUP workshops with Verónica Nava and David Jianu, not to mention kayaking, swimming and more.

The event will also include presentations on marine biology and ocean conservation topics, plus music, food and drinks. The evening will also include a raffle of a very special prize.

For more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/633902163441026/.

Se Buscan Héroes program determined to save Islas Marietas.

Islas Marietas

Se Buscan Héroes program determined to save Islas Marietas

The sum total of the work put in by tourism-related businesses and organization and civilians in regards to the increased awareness and preservation of natural resources, as well as the efforts of the authorities who carried out successful marine monitoring operations, has resulted in an excellent compliance rate with the regulations put in place at the Islas Marietas National Park, an icon of the Riviera Nayarit.

It has only taken six months for the “Se Buscan Héroes” (“Heroes Wanted”) campaign to prove its effectiveness and demonstrate an unprecedented success. Thanks to the continuous presence of the authorities in the area, the compliance rate for the regulations pertaining to Las Islas Marietas has skyrocketed, surpassing an 88- to 92-percentage rate in 2015 to reach 99 percent in the months of April and May of 2016.

Marietas Islands damaged by tourism

“What’s happening in the waters surrounding the Riviera Nayarit will lead the way for the conservation of natural protected areas in Mexico’s northwest and in other regions of the country—perhaps even in other countries,” stated Mauricio Cortés Hernández, head of the Nayarit office and director of the Programa de Recuperación de Especies Amenazadas de Pronatura Noroeste A.C., a member of the Paralelo 28 initiative.

“We’re now aware that our efforts are bearing fruit and we’re building a cutting-edge model for the sustainable utilization of our country’s natural attractions,” added Marc Murphy, Managing Director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (Conanp, by its acronym in Spanish) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) have together performed 74 security rendezvous in the area and verified 4,118 boats. During this time period they detected 107 irregularities, which were subsequently resolved.

This work was done in coordination with the Transportation and Communications Bureau (SCT) and the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar), with the complete support of Pronatura Noroeste A.C., as part of the Paralelo 28 initiative.

The “Se Buscan Héroes” call is still active; if you’re interested in joining the effort please visit: www.sebuscanheroes.com.

TransCanada Corp to build $2.1 bln gas pipeline in Mexico.


TransCanada Corp to build $2.1 bln gas pipeline in Mexico

TransCanada Corp said it would build and operate a $2.1 billion natural gas pipeline in Mexico, as the Canadian company ramps up in the Latin American country at a time when its key projects closer to home are facing delays.

TransCanada said on Monday the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline project would be built through a joint venture with a unit of Sempra Energy and be backed by a 25-year transportation service contract with Mexico’s state-owned power company.

TransCanada, which will own a 60 percent stake in the 800 kilometer (497 mile) pipeline and be its operator, will invest $1.3 billion in the project. Sempra’s unit IEnova will hold the remaining stake.

Spectra Energy Corp said on Monday its unit won a contract to build and operate a $1.5 billion natural gas pipeline in Texas, which would connect to the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline in Mexico.

The unit, Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC, will build and operate the 1 billion cubic feet per day pipeline originating at Nueces County, Texas and extending to Brownsville, Texas.

The Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, which is expected to be in service in late 2018, is the largest of three new Mexican projects recently announced by TransCanada.

Construction has already begun on the $500 million Tuxpan-Tula pipeline and the $550 million Tula-Villa de Reyes lines.

“This new project brings our footprint of existing assets and projects in development in Mexico to more than $5 billion,” TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said in a statement.

TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline expansion was rejected by U.S. President Barack Obama late last year and the company is struggling with opposition to its Energy East project in Canada.

It is also slated to build numerous gas lines tied to proposed natural gas export terminals on Canada’s Pacific Coast, but final investment decisions on those liquefied natural gas projects have been delayed by environmental and market concerns. (Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Tom Brown and Kirti Pandey)

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Playa de Oro in Puerto Vallarta to receive Blue Flag Certification.

Playa de Oro

Playa de Oro in Puerto Vallarta to receive Blue Flag Certification

Playa de Oro in Puerto Vallarta has met international guidelines to be granting the Blue Flag, Next month the beach will formally receive the area’s third certification of its kind, also the re-certification of Playa Palmares and Playa Camarones beaches will take place.

Playa de Oro is located in the hotel zone of Puerto Vallarta, close to the condominium Icon Vallarta, the Crown Paradise and the Hilton hotel, located on Avenida de Las Garzas.

Mexico has six new Blue Flag beaches certified this year, which adds to the 20 beaches and a marina that renewed their certifications this year, as approved at the meeting of the National Jury in which they announced 26 beaches and a marina in Mexico that will be certified from July 1 with the Blue Flag 2016-2017 season.

This certification guarantees compliance with 33 strict criteria grouped into four areas: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety and services and facilities, which are part of the guidelines issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental organization based in Denmark, whose programs are operated in Mexico exclusively by Pronatura Mexico.

New area awards also included the lagoon of Santa Maria del Oro, Nayarit.

The Flags will be presented at the XII National Clean Beaches Meeting to be held from 22 to 25 of June in Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit

(Src: NNC)

BMW breaks ground on new plant in Mexico.

bmw mexico
A BMW logo is pictured on a car’s back at a scrapyard in Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

BMW breaks ground on new plant in Mexico

Germany’s BMW broke ground on its new Mexican plant on Thursday, pledging to invest a total of $2.2 billion in the region through 2019.

BMW (BMWG.DE) follows a wave of carmakers that have sought to take advantage of the country’s growing industrial base and tariff-free access to the U.S. market. Mexico’s low wages also help reduce the German automaker’s dependence on higher-cost plants at home.

The $1 billion plant is located in San Luis Potosi, a state in central Mexico that is close to the country’s industrial heartland and the U.S. border, and is expected to produce 150,000 cars a year. Ford Motor Co (F.N) is also planning a plant in the same state.

Elizabeth Solis, a spokeswoman for BMW, said the plant would complement production in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and would produce the cars in the popular 3 Series.

BMW sold approximately 20,000 vehicles in Mexico in 2015, a 17-percent jump from the previous year.

(Reporting by Natalie Schachar; Additional reporting by Luis Rojas; Editing by Sandra Maler)