Alejandro Zairick
Minister Of Economic And Harbor Development Of The State Of Veracruz
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Zees Helping Detonate O&G Industry

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:20

Q: What is SEDECOP doing to position Veracruz internationally?
A: Our local government attended the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston in 2017 for the first time since the event’s inception. We wanted to see first-hand the industry’s main players and gauge which ones might be interested in investing in Veracruz. That same year, we launched the Alvarado port project to meet the oil and gas sector’s inherent needs in logistics and supply. Veracruz’s coastline is 750km long and our state’s geostrategic position in the Gulf of Mexico and its valuable oil and gas resources necessitated such a strategic project. Local suppliers in Veracruz also want to know what newcomers will need and under what time frame. SEDECOP is working with them to provide training programs. We are also working with the federal government to develop our supply chain in the oil and gas industry to help these and other companies in the state.
Q: How are federal programs such as the Special Economic Zones (ZEEs) making an impact in Veracruz?
A: In the particular case of Veracruz, it involves Coatzacoalcos, Nanchital and Ixhuatlan del Sureste. These create attractive opportunities for private players in federal, state and municipal taxes. Previous federal programs created a one-stop shop that assisted private players in fast-tracking permitting and administrative procedures at all government levels. This complete package created a pipeline of 15 letters of intent a few steps away from closing. Expectations are high and the interested companies include refineries, liquid storage businesses and offshore services providers.
Q: What is Veracruz doing to ease anxieties relating to community relations and security?
A: Veracruz is dealing diligently with these two particular issues. We are working closely with the Ministry of Interior to address these situations accordingly. The South of Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, a development by TransCanada, is a positive reference in that regard. In most cases, the problems are rooted in misinformation so we are focusing our efforts on creating exchange platforms between corporations and communities to dissipate any doubts and to be part of the solution.
Q: How is Veracruz improving its business platform?
A: To the best of its ability, the government of Veracruz extends a helping hand for companies to set a solid foothold in the market and undergo a seamless process from arrival to the launch of operations. We are working on regulatory improvements to expedite permitting processes and administrative procedures and to make them as dynamic as possible. Our goal is to decrease our 755 procedures and services and to shift toward shorter response times and shortened procedures.
Q: What other stimuli are you offering to newly arriving investors?
A: We are drafting an instrument similar to the ZEEs but at the state level. We are trying to structure what the municipalities can provide in terms of attractive tax rates and other incentives among strategic positions within Veracruz. We are still polishing the inner workings of the instrument. Industrial park developers are also part of this conversation to provide the most effective stimulus instruments possible. We are motivated by the sizable potential they have seen in the state.
Q: What will be this administration’s legacy for Veracruz’s energy sector?
A: We want to set the stepping stones for Veracruz’s effective and efficient development. A fully-functional State Energy Agency will spearhead these efforts and we want to leave a solid foundation for our strategic Alvarado port for the next administration. It will be a critical link in Veracruz’s prosperity chain, considering the oil and gas industry in Mexico exceeds the parameters of any other industry in terms of investments, job creation, wealth creation, social impact and economic growth. It is set to become a major stimulus for Veracruz’s economy and will positively impact other sectors.