Given the political and social context in which Mexico finds itself at present, what are the country’s main competitive advantages in becoming a hub for foreign investment?
Mexico works a lot in the automotive and agricultural industries, which has succeeded after many years of work in establishing a really stable infrastructure. This gives them validity, and although they have not seen huge growth, it demonstrates great potential for businesses that want to establish in Mexico, be they from the automotive sector or the tourism sector. We also continue to grow in the petroleum industry and we offer a direct connection to the United States.
Mexico has more than 40 treaties with different countries but is directly dependent on the United States – what should be learnt from the scare that current NAFTA renegotiations have presented the country with?
The thing is that everyone views the United States in this way. Recently, in the wake of this threat, the government has been promoting new routes to take in terms of trade, taking advantage of our more developed sectors. We are very much on a par with the Asian market, beginning to work with it in many sectors, mainly those which are selling the most basic products for export, such as handicrafts. All of this leads us to direct contact with China in order to see in what way we can boost Mexican exports.
Do you think that e-commerce is the future of logistics?
Yes, it is, but traditional systems will live on. Merchandise will always be distributed and relocated, which is why we must develop a business model on a par with e-commerce. In the end you act in e-commerce but you are acting out the old questions of logistics in order to conserve the product until it reaches its final destination.
What are the main sectors to which you provide service in Mexico?
Everything relating to mass consumption: health and beauty, canned foods, and hygiene. We no longer have our aerospace division. We are involved in automotive but through assembly, on a par with what we see happening in Europe and in India.
What is the secret of your success?
Everything related to pulling on a global level. For us it is a complete experience, not only the creation and development of the pallet, but consulting with clients from the packaging line. Moreover, consultancy is very important for our businesses.
What are the main challenges that you face?
The first is that we are a sustainable company. There are sectors in which we need innovation. For example, nowadays we are working on the design of a display pallet that is easy to assemble anywhere.
Could you tell us two things about CHEP Mexico that have made you leaders in Latin America?
Experience and knowledge. I would say that we used to speaking about Latin America as a concept, and it is not that way. Every country is very diverse. There are many differences between sectors in terms of maturity. The diversity of the peoples with which we do business gives you another panorama of many situations in one’s work life as much as in one’s personal life. I arrived at the company during its beginnings and opened every office of ours across Latin America.
What would be your final message to our readers?
Latin America is a diverse swathe of countries and cultures. Looking at it from the outside, we are not among the world’s most stable markets but we are a stable region which is growing and works hard, and Mexico in particular is a country of productive and hard-working people.