Luis Aguirre Lang – President INDEX

Cause and effect: In this case the cause is economic growth in the United States and the resulting impact is in Mexico.

Growth and impact depend on the math -namely the rate of growth.

Luis Aguirre Lang, president, National Maquiladora Council, Mexico, known as INDEX (Formerly CNIME), keeps an eye on the cause-and-effect economic relationship between the two countries. The data by itself needs context. Aguirre used the word “mild”during his presentation at the MEXICONOW’s Manufacturing Supply Chain Summit in El Paso.

LUIS, IN YOUR PRESENTATION RECENTLY IN EL PASO, YOU USED THE WORDS “A MILD U.S. GROWTH PATTERN AS WE CONTINUE IN 2013.”THE WORD MILD; WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE MEXICAN ECONOMY FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR?

As I mentioned this is very important in the perception of the maquiladora industry in Mexico because more than 80 percent of the exportation of the manufacturing products in Mexico go to the U.S. market. That is the expectation of the GDP growth for the next year and small growth this year but it still and continuously it’s good news for the global manufacturing industry that I represent in Mexico.

YOU REPRESENT MANY INDUSTRIES. IN THE U.S. WE TALK ABOUT
AN “ORDER BANK” THAT IS CUSTOMERS PUTTING IN ORDERS FOR MORE PRODUCTION IN THE FUTURE. AS THE INDEX MEMBERS TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE ORDERS THEY HAVE FROM THEIR CUSTOMERS. HOW STRONG DOES IT APPEAR AT THIS POINT?

Very strong and very important! Obviously we are involved to explore other markets, especially in the Trans- Pacific Partnership agreement for which Mexico is an official member of. We are going to be participating more strongly in these negotiations in the coming session in Peru for example. We understand and we know that U.S. bank of orders is important and is strong for this GDP projection for the coming year, but additionally we need to look to diversify, for export markets.

YOU TALK ABOUT DIVERSIFICATION, ABOUT STRATEGIC PARTNERS AND A NEW VISION. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

What I can see for example here in the border, it’s an experience in a business relationship and a partnership with more than 40 years’ experience. As I mentioned we have talented capital here. We have high quality manufacturing products and processes and we have the cultural society. What I see we need to think about is the re-industrialization vision for the two countries. The United States has very important elements for productivity and for competitiveness and vision in the manufacturing of global products. We in Mexico have talented people, skills, experience, and the cultural society. I think it’s time to put that together and with great vision and strategic planning to re-industrialize. This would take the benefits and the good things that two cultures have, especially here at the border.

BASED ON WHAT YOU ARE SEEING OF THE HUMAN CAPITAL IN MEXICO, TO WHAT EXTENT SHOULD THOSE CONSIDERING INVESTING IN MEXICO REALLY GIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION TO HUMAN CAPITAL IN MEXICO AS A DECIDING FACTOR?

Without doubt. This is a key element because all the new technologies, the innovation, the research and development process, you cannot do it without talented people. We have been a good example in the maquiladora industry wi th more than 40 years’ experience in Mexico. We created this maquila model in Mexico and one of the key elements that we have been successful all this time is because we have been integrated and have a strong relationship with the universities and with the technology centers in order to create programs together for training. This will increase the skills of our people; the result of all this time and all the efforts has been that we are manufacturing high quality products. 

WHERE AND WHAT TYPES OF INFRASTRUCTURE SHOULD INVESTMENTS BE MADE TO HELP MAKE MEXICO AND THE EXPORT INDUSTRY MORE COMPETITIVE?

We need to focus on two points that may seem in opposition. We need to do faster interchange in trading in the two countries, but we shouldn’t be losing that control in that security measures for this trading. The infrastructure and the high tech elements need to be represented in investments for the crossing points. Obviously we need to move forward. We have some good examples of automation and trade in operations with the Mexican government.

For example the new website of international commerce that we call VUCEM, an electronic website portal for doing the international commerce process for import and export. This is a very good example of the things that can be moved forward in the automation process.

YOU OBVIOUSLY WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT BUT YOU ALSO WORK WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES YOU SEND TO THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE EMBASSY ABOUT BUSINESS?

We have been in contact for almost two years ago on topics of commerce and trading. More than 70 percent of the maquiladora investment in Mexico represents U.S. corporations. We have a very close work, team work in different topics like single entry documents, disaster recovery plan for avoiding natural disaster, the border that could be affected for trading. These types of innovation projects as the VUCEM for example are now associated with an electronics system for controlling the temporary importations in Mexico.

We are taking that information so this type of innovations and automation process provide a certain security and very good interchange and reducing timing and logistics costs for the trading. These are some of the topics we are in touch with the Department of Commerce of the United States and with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.