What led to the creation of ProMexico?

ProMexico is an institution created in 2007 with the intention of attracting foreign direct investment flows to Mexico. We seek to be the link between investors and the various private sector actors; ProMexico is the promotional arm of the Federal Government, as well as the various state governments of the Mexican Republic. ProMexico has 48 offices around the world and 29 in Mexican territory. Currently, ProMexico promotes diversifying its portfolio and encourages exports with higher technology, innovation and design content, and therefore greater added value. Although the vast majority of our exports go to NAFTA countries, promotion in other regions has intensified; however, there are still many opportunities to be seized within NAFTA, such as selling more to the Hispanic market in the USA. We also support Mexican companies in their internationalization process, companies that seek to insert themselves into value chains since these play a fundamental role for large transnational companies in the global context. A large company seeks to produce at a lower cost while being close to its end consumer.

What percentage of this office’s work is occupied by the oil sector?

In the case of ProMexico’s representation office in Houston and the territory where we have influence, a large part of our promotional activity is directed towards the energy sector. Our work has focused on getting to know and identifying the players in the sector who are not currently present in Mexico and who have shown interest in participating with investments in the recent opening of the sector. When the constitutional amendment on energy matters was approved in December 2013, there was an overwhelming expectation that today shows its most rational face; it is important to emphasize that the promotion activity of the first round will remain a priority for our office until its conclusion.

What impact do you expect the reform to have?

The reform will allow Mexico to bring, adapt, and take advantage of industry technologies to maximize oil revenues and reduce environmental risks; the reform promotes the use of clean energy sources in electricity generation. For the energy industry to perform optimally, at least 62.5 billion dollars of investment are estimated to be required by 2018, according to the Secretariat of Energy.

What is the perception of US companies about opportunities in Mexico in the long term?

In the early 1980s, Mexico depended on the export of raw materials such as crude oil, which made our economy vulnerable to external shocks, such as the fall of international oil prices in that decade. Our economy was not diversified, and we had a poorly developed and highly protected manufacturing industry. Today, this has been completely reversed: 80% of our exports are manufactured goods. NAFTA has played a very important role, as well as the macroeconomic stability that our country has enjoyed in the last two decades. The Mexican economy is very integrated with those of Canada and the USA, as we can see in the successful global supply chains that have developed in our country, in sectors such as automotive and auto parts, aerospace, electrical and electronic. The above generates a climate of confidence for the international investor, particularly from the NAFTA region.

How can Mexican SMEs be incorporated into the value chain of the energy sector?

It is very important to do an extraordinary promotion job to add Mexican companies to this value chain. We recognize that it is incipient, it has functioned under a state and monopolistic regime for many years, and now we must focus on its growth under a modern and clear regulatory framework, oriented towards free market forces. We must have a solid understanding of the impact that the reform will have on economic development and trigger the appropriate business ecosystem to support small and medium entrepreneurs.

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