IFC and Neolpharma Unite Efforts to Increase Accessibility to Medicines in Low Income Population and Finance Climate Change Mitigation Projects

Mexico pharmacy medicine

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, will provide a US$30 million to Neolpharma, a Mexican pharmaceutical group focused on R&D, manufacturing, distribution, and commercialization of high-specialty generics for the private and public health system, to satisfy the growing demand of high-specialty medicines for the middle to low income population in the region.

The loan will finance Neolpharma’s growth plan which includes expansion of its production facilities of high-specialty products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the most important raw material in the production of medicines.

Juan Gonzalo Flores, Country Manager of IFC México, said: “Budget constraints have increased due to the Covid-19 crisis and other macroeconomic factors.  By financing Neolpharma’s expansion plan, IFC will contribute to increase the access and affordability of high-quality medicines in Mexico and the LAC Region for the middle to low income population in important therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, oncology, central nervous system and diabetes.”  

Efrén Ocampo, CEO for Neolpharma group said: “We are eager to collaborate with IFC in accelerating our expansion plans, while also focusing efforts towards sustainability and long-term growth. By investing on production capabilities, we aim to bring more resilience to our production supply chain. Neolpharma remains strongly committed on improving accessibility of high-quality medicines to benefit underserved populations.”

The US$30 million financing package is composed of a US$15 million loan of IFC’s own account, and a US$15 million loan from Canada-IFC Blended Climate Finance Program (BCFP). This is the first transaction of IFC in Pharmaceutical sector that includes funding from BCFP. At least US$15mn of the Loan is earmarked for climate investment. The operation will contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 11,400 tons per year and the implementation of climate change mitigation projects, such as waste heat recovery for efficient cogeneration in production sites, rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) with battery storage and green buildings certified under Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE).

Neolpharma will be one of the first EDGE certified pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Globally, 100 million people fall below the poverty line every year as a result of healthcare costs. IFC works with generic pharmaceutical companies and global medical technology companies to bring the latest standard of care to emerging markets affordably.

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Industry Groups Raise Alarm About Deteriorating U.S.-Mexico Trade Relationship

Mexico trade

27 leading food and agriculture associations have sent a letter communicating growing concerns over the rapid deterioration of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The letter calls attention to alarming recent developments with regard to the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico and urges action to address these challenges.

Together, the group of associations represent much of the food and agriculture sector that is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly supporting more than 23 million jobs — constituting nearly 15% of total U.S. employment.

Signers include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean AssociationCorn Refiners AssociationInternational Dairy Foods AssociationNorth American Meat InstituteNational Grain & Feed Association, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

The letter reads, in part:

“Mexico is one of America’s most important food and agriculture trade partners.

NAFTA has yielded strong benefits to both countries, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) promises to build upon those gains.

“Yet, the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico has declined markedly, a trend USMCA’s implementation has not reversed.

“We respectfully urge your attention to this important, but quickly deteriorating, trade relationship.”

Leading concerns highlighted by the group include a ban on glyphosate and genetically modified corn, increased obstacles to dairy trade, an organic export certification requirement, a state-sponsored campaign disparaging corn sweeteners from the United States, a cessation of review and approval of biotechnology applications, implications from meat industry market access and geographical indications, a potato export ban, and a new front-of-pack labeling regulation.

These issues, along with a large number of investigations on Mexico’s fresh produce exports to the United States, hamper the competitiveness of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and other members of the food and agriculture sector.

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Mexico and Argentina Sign a Roadmap to Reactivate the Bilateral Mechanisms of the Strategic Partnership

Argentina & Mexico

As part of the official visit to Mexico of the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, a meeting was held today at the Foreign Ministry between the delegations of both countries. It was chaired by the Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Reyes, and Guillermo Justo Chaves, Chief of Staff to the Argentinian Foreign Minister.

During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to invigorating the political dialogue and cooperation through the Mexico-Argentina Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which includes committees on political affairs, cooperation, and economic, trade and investment affairs. In line with the president’s instructions, a roadmap was signed to reactivate the existing institutional mechanisms ahead of the fifth SPA Council ministerial meeting in the second half of the year.

The roadmap is part of the joint statement the two presidents will sign at the end of the visit. It includes various agreements on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest in forums such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC ) and the Group of Twenty.  

Regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides stressed their desire to join forces and continue their close collaboration so that the region achieves self-sufficiency in vaccine production, and so that the vaccines are considered as global common goods.

Among the topics discussed, Argentina emphasized the importance of joining forces on international humanitarian assistance in light of the potential socio-natural hazards in the region, and of increasing the exchange of information and deepening coordination on comprehensive disaster risk management, resiliency and emergency response.

On cooperation, Mexico and Argentina reaffirmed their mutual interest in holding the seventh meeting of the Joint Commission for Technical and Scientific Cooperation, which will make official the 2021-2023 cooperation program to create technical cadres and promote complementarity between institutions.

At the regional level, the two officials highlighted their areas of agreement within CELAC, of which Mexico is  president pro tempore for the second consecutive year, and they reaffirmed their commitment to continue strengthening the community by implementing Mexico’s 2021 work plan.

Lastly, Undersecretary Reyes thanked President Alberto Fernández for accepting the invitation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to visit Mexico and to participate as a special guest in commemorating the bicentennial of the promulgation of the Plan of Iguala and Flag Day. He also thanked the Argentinian government for its willingness to participate in other historical celebrations that will take place throughout the year.

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COVID-19 Antigen Testing For Guests Now Offered Onsite At Mexico’s Velas Resorts

Covid antigen test

Mexico’s Velas Resorts now offers in-house COVID-19 antigen testing for guests. As of January 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all US residents traveling back to the US to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 test. Testing in accordance with the new CDC requirements is available onsite at the resort collection’s six properties, in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, and Puerto Vallarta. For guest comfort and convenience, certified medical workers from the local affiliated hospital come to the hotels to perform the test. The COVID-19 antigen test is included in the nightly rate and results are sent by email within 24 hours.

If a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 and requests to extend a reservation at one of the hotels, Velas Resorts offers a 75% discount on its listed web rates. An extra suite is also offered for the person who received a positive result to safely and securely quarantine separate from their family or other traveling companions if they choose. Designated suites are reserved away from other guests with strict Covid protocols in place. Stay will be subject to European Plan or All-Inclusive based on the hotel’s current offering for up to 14 nights.

Velas Resorts have received the global safety stamp of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) due to its state-of-the-art safety and cleanliness protocols detailed in a 15-page Stay Safe with Velas program. Sanitizing mats and booths, touchless hand sanitizing dispensers, increased cleaning and sanitation with both EPA-chemicals, and special COVID-19 training for staff are examples of protocols being implemented by the resort collection. In addition to the antigen testing, PCR testing (for Canadian residents) is also available onsite or at a local hospital. Cost and results turnaround is based on each destination.

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Playa Mundo Maya by GPS-Group is the New Holiday Destination in Isla Aguada, Yucatan Peninsula

beach

Playa Mundo Maya, a new boutique eco-hotel destination, is under construction on the Yucatan coast, located out of the sargassum and hurricane path in the Gulf of Mexico side of the Yucatan Peninsula in Isla Aguada, which just recently has been appointed “Pueblo Magico” – a top holiday destination in Mexico.

Isla Aguada has the most attractive white sandy beach in the State of Campeche; the area is set to be the brand-new luxury holiday destination: Playa Mundo Maya.

The first holiday rental villas and eco-hostel “La Playita” are ready. Several projects are under construction, and many more will be developed in the 42 km-long beaches to the north of Isla Aguada.

The Global Property Service Group (GPS-Group), the biggest landowner in the area, was just recently authorized to build the first eco-hotel resort and marine life observatory, and numerous eco-hotels, beach clubs, spas, retreats and boutiques will be built.

Mayan Train railway and Tulum Luxury airport projects start operating in 2023 with over 3 million tourists in Mundo Maya Area.

The US$10 billion railway project would link towns, cities, and tourist attractions in five southern states. It is expected to transport 8,000 passengers per day. The train project will trigger real estate investment of at least 150 billion pesos (the US$17.9 billion), according to the chief of the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur). The government says that the construction and operation of the Mayan Train will generate employment and economic prosperity in the whole southeast of Mexico.

Both the government and the GPS-Group aim to transform the island into the most attractive sustainable tourist destination in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The hotel zone will benefit local people as the land price is expected to increase, and residents are opening their businesses to serve all the visiting tourists. Local people can run every type of business to respond to the growing market’s demand. They will feel delighted with more job opportunities, which ultimately raise their standard of living.

Investors have turned their attention to Playa Mundo Maya, as the demand for hotel rooms is huge as Isla Aguada town has just under 100 hotel rooms available where other Pueblos Magicos have an average of 30,000 hotel rooms.

The most attractive part for investors is that the land price on the island is much lower than the other beach areas developed in the Yucatan Peninsula, where the huge demand from international hotel companies has been already pushing prices much higher in recent years. Regarding the local real estate company: Isla Aguada Real Estate, the average oceanfront land square meter price on Isla Aguada beach is now USD 77 per square meter compared to over USD 350 per square meter Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo coastline. Land price in Playa Mundo Maya is expected to increase strongly in the near future.

For many hotel owners who have faced last year’s severe seaweed problem in the Mexican Caribbean coastline, Playa Mundo Maya presents a natural choice to build their second eco-hotel as the millions of tons of seaweed have been piling up in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and nearby beaches in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Holbox.

Playa Mundo Maya is located on another side of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Mexican Gulf’s safe side, which is away from the sargassum path and the high-risk of hurricane impact.

Isla Aguada and Playa Mundo Maya have all the same ingredients for success as Playa Del Carmen and Cancun had 20 or 30 years ago, including pristine beaches and lagoon, Mayan ruins, and world-class fishing and diving, to name a few.

By the time the Mayan Train railway is operating, the Playa Mundo Maya will be competing with the world’s most attractive destinations for honeymoons and health retreats embracing the heart of Mexican culture.

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Timken Expands Manufacturing Footprint in Mexico

timkin

State-of-the art facility employs cutting-edge technology and automation to serve customers regionally, globally.

The Timken Company, a world leader in engineered bearings and power transmission products, has announced the start of production at its new manufacturing facility in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico. The facility manufactures tapered roller bearings using the industry’s most advanced automation and manufacturing technologies.  

“Our new facility builds on our manufacturing strategy to serve customers where they need us across the world,” said Christopher Coughlin, Timken executive vice president and group president. “The San Jose Iturbide plant will use state-of-the-art technology and automation to achieve the high standards for quality and consistency we employ at all of our sites. It will help us advance our global bearing leadership by providing a high level of value and service for our customers in the region and globally.”  

The San Jose Iturbide facility is the company’s only manufacturing plant in Latin America and will serve customers across the Americas and globally. Timken established its presence in Latin America in 1944 and serves the region through offices and warehouses located in ArgentinaBrazil and MexicoLatin America now accounts for just over 5 percent of the company’s sales.

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Vizsla Continues to Expand Panuco District With New Drill Targets for 2021

The mine

Vizsla Resources Corp. is pleased to build on the last six months of drilling success with additional surface and underground sampling results that provide new drill targets for 2021 at the Panuco silver-gold project in Mexico.

 

Sampling Highlights

Aguita Zarca

  • 3,042 g/t silver equivalent (2,090.8 g/t silver and 11.55 g/t gold) over 1.0 m true width and
  • 1,304 g/t silver equivalent (723.0 g/t silver and 6.7 g/t gold) over 1.2 m true width

El Batel

  • 456 g/t silver equivalent (263.7 g/t silver and 2.23 g/t gold) over 2.9 m true width

La Bomba

  • 368 g/t silver equivalent (315.0 g/t silver and 0.77 g/t gold) over 4.1 m true width including;
  • 958 g/t silver equivalent (892.0 g/t silver and 1.28 g/t gold) over 1.3 m true width

Huaco

  • 275 g/t silver equivalent (225.5 g/t silver and 0.67 g/t gold) over 10.5 m true width including;
  • 473 g/t silver equivalent (370.7 g/t silver and 1.34 g/t gold) over 4.0 m true width

 

“2020 has been a transformational year for Vizsla with multiple discoveries made across the Panuco district.  The Company has completed 27,400 metres up until December 5th and is focused on expanding the mineralized zones at Napoleon, Papayo, Tajitos and our new discovery at Aquita Zarca.  Material updates for these zones will be released as they become available in January 2021,” commented Vizsla President and CEO, Michael Konnert. “Vizsla has continued to discover new veins and extend sampling across the fourteen-kilometre-wide breadth of the Project and these targets will be included in our expanded 2021 drilling program.  Panuco really is a district scale opportunity with the unique advantage of having a mill providing a rapid pathway from discovery to production.”

 

Panuco Exploration Strategy

The consolidation of the entire district has provided Vizsla a number of significant advantages over early explorers of Panuco.  For the first time entire vein trends can be mapped and sampled regardless of internal claim boundaries, a coherent regional geological understanding is being formed, comparisons can be made between targets across the entire property and perhaps most importantly targets can be benchmarked and prioritized across the district.

The exploration team is divided into the surface mapping/sampling group, underground mapping/sampling group and a large drilling team.  The targets move through six stages;

  1. Identified Target – An opportunity found on maps, interpreted, or introduced by local miners   
  2. First Pass Prospecting – Visited by Vizsla geologists and preliminary samples and observations have been made
  3. Detailed Mapping – Detailed maps and systematic sampling of the target has been completed
  4. Drilling – Drilling has been completed on the target
  5. Advanced Drilling – Step-out drilling has been completed to understand broad size of target
  6. Resource Drilling – A 5-30 million ounce silver equivalent, economic orebody is considered likely and systematic drilling is in progress

Vizsla has identified 122 targets across the Panuco district and undertaken prospecting at 91 of these targets.  At each stage in the exploration process, the targets are benchmarked for size potential, grade potential and prioritized – with the largest, most economic targets advanced to the next stage of exploration.

In 2020 this has resulted in eighteen targets being drilled with five of these being at the advanced or resource drilling stage.

The methodical approach has allowed the Company to quickly achieve success in a large, poorly explored district and this process will continue to be used in 2021 as the Company aims to expand known mineralized zones and discover new orebodies at Panuco.

 

Sampling details

The Aguita Zarca vein is the northernmost splay in the greater Aquita Zarca Zone on the Cordon del Oro vein Corridor.  The vein has been mapped over 250 metres, averages 1.5 metres width, up to 3 metres at the widest point.  Recently announced drilling in the area was targeting the western end of this vein and intersected strong mineralization in the main Cordon del Oro vein and immediate hanging wall zone.  Further drilling is required towards the east where surfaces samples returned 3,042 g/t silver equivalent (2,090.8 g/t silver and 11.55 g/t gold) over 1.0 metres.

El Batel is a new vein zone identified in the far northeast of the property.  It has been mapped over 120 metres with additional strike up to 400 metres inferred from prospecting.  The vein averages 2.5 metres in width.  The vein appears to transition from lower grade when outcropping on hilltops to high grade at lower elevations where small scale mining has been undertaken.

La Bomba is an underground target on the Animas vein corridor.  The underground mine is being rehabilitated for safer access and detailed mapping and sampling has identified a 200m long zone with a 2-metre average width and up to 7 metres maximum width.  The vein appears to be open at the lowest elevations within the mine and drilling is planned to define the depth extensions of mineralization.

The Huaco extension is a northeast trending vein associated with the Cinco Senores Vein Corridor.  It was the location of ancient historical mining and has high grades at surface over 130 metres of strike.  The vein averages 5 metres of width and is up to 14 metres at the widest point.  It represents an excellent drill target along the northeast extension of ancient workings.

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Mazda and Sumitomo Agree to Transfer Shares of MMVO, a Joint Venture Production Base in Mexico MMVO to be owned solely by Mazda by the end of this fiscal year

MMVO

Mazda Motor Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation officially agreed today to Mazda obtaining all the shares Sumitomo owns in Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation (MMVO). After the formalities regarding the transfer, MMVO will be a production base owned 100 percent by Mazda by the end of the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

MMVO was jointly established as a cooperative enterprise between Mazda and Sumitomo in September 2011 that leverages the strengths of both companies. Receiving support from both parties as well as the local community, MMVO has striven to realize Mazda’s high-quality and flexible car manufacturing while also promoting localization and personnel development. 

More than nine years since its establishment, MMVO became one of Mazda’s major production facilities with its localization strengthened thanks to Sumitomo’s experience and knowledge as well as its cumulative production volume reaching as many as 1 million units. It was agreed that as MMVO reaches its 10th year since its foundation, Mazda will become the sole proprietor of MMVO as a result of discussions between Mazda and Sumitomo on MMVO’s future plans and management.

In the future, Mazda and Sumitomo will continue to cooperate as important business partners in various business areas in and out of Japan. MMVO will continue to contribute to the local economy as well as further development of the automotive industry in the country.

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EPA Announces Over $335,000 for Projects in U.S.-Mexico Border Region

el paso

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced $335,855.48 in grants awarded through the Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program. The grants will fund projects benefitting the U.S.-Mexico border region between Texas and New Mexico and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamulipas. In addition to these funds, recipient organizations will contribute an additional $426,630 for the support and implementation of these projects which benefit a region where more than 15 million people reside.

“Through the Border 2020 program, EPA works with federal, state, and local partners to enhance communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “EPA is proud to fund these projects that, coupled with local investment, will improve environmental and health outcomes and benefit millions of people in the border communities of both nations.”

“The Border 2020 program has been successful at working to improve health and living conditions along the US-Mexico border as evident with the funding of these projects,” said Calixto Mateos-Hanel, Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB). “NADB is pleased to work in collaboration on Border 2020 with EPA and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and look forward to continuing this partnership with the Border 2025 program.”

“We are grateful to the EPA for the Border 2020 project, benefiting El Paso and our Sister City, Cd. Juarez,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. “I look forward to continued collaboration along the border, supporting our environment and bi-national community.”  

The following projects received funding:

Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua: Two projects in Ciudad Juarez received funding totaling $121,501.40. The Patronato del Museo de Nino’s Transboundary Water Conservation Project received $61,041.40 for community education and outreach. The project will engage area youth with interactive exhibits that teach about agricultural, urban, and industrial water usage. The Municipal Water and Sanitation Board of Ciudad Juarez received $60,460 for the Sustainable Use of Biosolids Through Composting Project. The project will establish a program for composting biosolids including compost production techniques, field procedures, machinery management, and personnel training. It will produce 100 tons of compost suitable for use in parks and gardens.


Nava, Coahuila: The Secretariat of Environment for the State of Coahuila received $82,100 to analyze emissions from coal-fired plants in the area. The project will use dispersion modeling to study the emissions, and will include an analysis of health impacts. At the end of the project, a public campaign will be conducted to inform stakeholders of the results.

El Paso, Texas :  The El Paso area received grants for two projects totaling $32,350 in funding. The El Paso County received $9,980 for the Urban Heat Island Mapping Project, which will educate the community on warming of urban areas and improve quality of life for the community. The project will produce heat maps for El Paso and engage the public to understand heat-related issues and solutions. The El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management received $22,370 for two binational tabletop discussions and three functional exercises involving a rail tank car leak. The funding will also help purchase spill mitigation equipment that can quickly be deployed to protect the environment and the community in the event of a hazardous materials spill from rail tanks in El Paso, Texas and Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua.

Amistad Reservoir, Del Rio, Texas: The Southwest Research Institute received $99,904 for work with U.S. and Mexican federal and state partners to delineate the Goodenough Spring Catchment Area Project by the Amistad Reservoir. The project team aims to help stakeholders in the region better understand the catchment area to help effectively manage and protect it for long term-use sustainability.

These funds were awarded in partnership with the North American Development Bank under the Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program, a binational effort to protect human health and the environment in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

For more about EPA’s Border 2020 program: https://www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder

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Mexico Works The Longest Hours in The World

With numerous studies showing taking regular breaks at work is essential for physical and mental wellbeing, how often do workers around the world take a lunch break at work? Global Workspace Specialists Instant Offices have collated data around the world’s busiest cities and provided insight into how work-life balance has affected the top countries.

The latest research has placed Mexico at the top of the list for most hours worked, with employees in the country putting in 2137 hours annually. This is followed by Costa Rica, at 2059.6 hours a year, Korea at 1967 hours a year, and Greece at 1949 hours a year. At the other end of the scale, Denmark, Germany and Norway have the lowest average annual working hours, all coming in at below 1400.

Between 2015 and 2019, the countries experiencing the sharpest increase in the number of annual hours worked were the Czech Republic, New Zealand and the UK, rising by 32, 28 and 11 hours respectively. Meanwhile, Korea saw the most significant decline in annual working hours in the same period, dropping by 116 hours. This was followed by Costa Rica, with an 88.6-hour decrease, and Chile, with an 84-hour drop.

A survey of 27 countries revealed some key facts about how employees are balancing their days between time spent at their desks, and time spent on breaks. It seems the concept of a “lunch hour” has become a thing of the past, with the average lunch break lasting 35 minutes.

Countries with the most extended lunch break times are predominantly in Asia, while the lowest are mostly found in Europe.

 

Top five countries with the longest lunch breaks:

Country

Lunch Break Duration

Brazil

48 minutes

Malaysia

47 minutes

Japan

46 minutes

Portugal

44 minutes

South Korea

43 minutes

 

Top five countries with the shortest lunch breaks:

Country

Lunch Break Duration

Mexico

30 minutes

New Zealand

30 minutes

Spain

28 minutes

Poland

24 minutes

Greece

19 minutes

 

Being in the top 5 countries for longest annual working hours and shortest daily lunch breaks, Mexico and Greece are some of the world’s busiest (and likely most overworked) cities. Mexico’s annual working hours have remained relatively steady with a small drop of 3 hours since 2015, while Greece’s hours have risen slightly by 5.

With 74% of Greek workers reporting that they get only 15 minutes or no lunch break, Greece is undoubtedly one of the European nations most lacking in a healthy work-life balance.

Not only does Mexico have some of the longest annual hours and shortest break times, but it also currently has the second-worst work-life balance score globally according to Statista (1.1, second only to Colombia at 0.9). The US and the UK were also among the worst-scoring countries, scoring 6 and 6.4 respectively.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands, which has some of the lowest annual working hours, is ranked as having the best work-life balance, with a score of 9.5. Denmark and Norway, two more countries listed as having the lowest annual working hours, also made the top 10 for the best work-life balance.

To view the full list of which countries are working the longest hours, click here: https://www.instantoffices.com/blog/featured/worlds-busiest-countries/

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