Despite the global slowdown, multinational CEOs are generally upbeat on Latin America‘s business outlook this year, according to a Latin Business Chronicle survey.

Nissan, the Japanese auto manufacturer, will invest more than 1.9 billion dollars in the construction of a new car plant in Aguascalientes. This could be the most important foreign direct investment (FDI) project for Mexico in 2012, informed Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault.

Pirelli, the Italian tire manufacturer, will begin operations in its new plant in Silao, Guanajuato, in April 2012. The plant required a 210 million dollar investment and has an estimated production capacity of 4.5 million tires per year towards 2015, informed the company’s CEO in Mexico, Mauricio Canineo.

Welch Allyn, one of the leaders in the medical industry in Baja California, will invest 7.4 million dollars in 2012 with which it expects to see a 10% growth.

Cinépolis plans to open 350 movie theaters in 2012, of which 200 will be located in Brazil, Colombia, the United States and India, informed the company’s president and CEO, Alejandro Ramírez..

Grupo México plans to invest approximately five billion dollars to strengthen their mining, transportation and infrastructure operations in the next five years.

Between 2010 and 2011, Mexican companies placed 28.345 billion dollars of FDI, which is equal to the amount they reported between 2005 and 2009. Furthermore, their productive investments abroad reached a record 14.345 billion dollars in 2010, according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and 14 billion in 2011, according to estimates by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).