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South of the Border: Rolf Slobotzky

Thursday, 1 June 2006 ( #262 ) - MEXICO CITY, Mexico
During the eighth Intrupa dealers' convention in Cancun, more than 100 people were presented with a general outlook on today's market conditions. Six speakers who were Mexico Chamber of Commerce and machinery associations representatives, and market analysts, gave presentations on the Mexican economy, politics, finances, market strengths and weaknesses and a 2006 forecast. Last year was a very good one, with more than 5,000 forklifts imported. The first quarter of 2006 seems to be heading in the same direction. However no one dares to forecast beyond July 2, the date of Mexico's presidential elections. Three political parties are running for the Mexican presidency; one extreme left, one centre and one right. Currently the extreme left and the right are in a tie. The centre party, which was in power for the last 70 years, has no chance of a comeback. If the extreme left, the Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD), wins we could be looking at a totally different ball game. There would be great social unrest with repercussions for businesses. It is likely foreign investment will halt and existing foreign investors might leave out of fear of an extremist left president. In that scenario, foreign investment would come to a momentary stand still and we would see a decrease in imports of capital goods and an increase in demand for used equipment. Imports of new forklifts would decrease while sales of used forklifts would increase. Imports of new forklifts can be monitored through government releases of import figures, but there is no way of monitoring sales of used forklifts. Rolf Slobotzky is Forkliftaction.com News's regular columnist from Mexico. He has been in the industry for more than 50 years and is an ex-president of the Mexican Association of Machinery Dealers.

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