Marco Ramón
President
Amistad Industrial Developers
/
View from the Top

Importing International Standards

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 14:37

Q: How has the landscape for industrial park developers like Amistad changed in the last 20 years?

A: Following the Energy Reform, industrial park developers like Amistad Industrial Developers can now supply energy but the Reform’s secondary laws are still unclear and are hindering our efforts. Some European companies are offering partnerships with solar farm developments and although it makes financial sense for us to participate in this, the country’s legal framework prevents us from doing so. Amistad Industrial Developers wants to implement this type of service but we are holding back our investments for the time being. Our clients are also interested in these services in the long-term. The quality of the end product has undergone the biggest change. Clients established in Mexico expect to receive the same quality of service they would in the US, Europe, Japan or Korea. We have also seen Japanese and US industrial park developers entering the Mexican market, which has forced domestic companies to raise their standards. Multimillion-dollar investments require quality infrastructure. The market’s standards have increased dramatically and so have client expectations.

Q: What parameters do you take into account when making long-term plans?

A: The parameters are the same as they were 10-15 years ago. We need to make logistics as efficient as possible, which translates to easy highway access and proximity to airports. Infrastructure must be secured in terms of energy and water supplies and real estate developers must create a bond with local communities. The most important element  in any operation is its workforce so we make sure that the right talent and professional expertise is available in the area.

Q: What are the most promising locations for industrial park expansion?

A: Amistad Industrial Developers is establishing its third industrial park in Guanajuato’s Apaseo El Grande and Celaya areas and in Queretaro. The Saltillo and Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila corridor is extremely interesting, with access to major markets like Monterrey and Mexico City, while covering an important OEM region with companies such as GM, Chrysler, Freightliner and Fiat. Hidalgo is the next region we plan to expand into, not only because the state is pushing for investment but also because it makes sense from a logistics standpoint. Its proximity to Puebla, Guanajuato, Mexico City and Veracruz will bring many interesting business opportunities.

Our sights also are fixed on the south of Mexico. The federal government is promoting industrial developments in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz and we see tremendous potential in these locations. Chiapas’ state government will offer many incentives to attract new companies, proper infrastructure has already been secured and labor costs are almost 25 percent lower than in northern states.

Even though logistics may seem troublesome, trucks can reach Mexico City in as little as five hours. Veracruz has an increasing need for warehouses and manufacturing facilities, resulting directly from the Energy Reform.

Q: To what extent is Amistad Industrial Developers looking to push into new sectors?

A: About 60 percent of our portfolio is directed at the automotive industry, while the remaining 40 percent is mostly divided between the aerospace and electronics segments. We foresee an increase in the automotive industry’s dominance over our operations. To offset time constraints, we develop a lot of space to tailored specifications while complying with the standards imposed by the automotive industry. We understand the automotive sector’s requirements, which helps OEMs achieve their goals more efficiently. We can guarantee occupancy in our parks within a five-month span, which is a record in the industry. This gives clients more than enough time to install their machinery and begin operations. Amistad Industrial Developers would also like to expand its portfolio and services for the aerospace industry. The segment is growing steadily and opportunities are emerging. Our core business is and will remain the automotive industry but based on the projected double-digit growth, logistics also is an emerging market.