Yisel Varela
CEO
A2E
/
View from the Top

Shelter Supports SME Entry into Energy Sector

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 15:16

Q: How does Access to Energy help SMEs enter the Mexican market and what areas are they most interested in?

A: One of our goals is to encourage investment in the country, both foreign and local. There are many national SMEs in the sector that are interested in participating in different areas of the industry. For instance, we have seen a great deal of interest in renewable energy. We participate in practically all processes, such as establishing the company, legal, accounting and regulatory matters. For us, a success story is the company that we have helped from the founding until it is fully operational.

Q: How have local and international SMEs reacted to the volatility in the market in the last year?

A: Change always creates uncertainty. One example was Trump’s election victory, which generated a great deal of uncertainty, although things have finally taken their course. Within the industry, we have heard a variety of opinions, from those that see change as a window of opportunity to the most catastrophic of views regarding the future. But foreign investors remain optimistic about the Mexican market. At Access to Energy, we believe that changes provide windows of opportunity, which are already opening up to the sector.

In fact, rather than a negative impact, we have observed quite the opposite. In 2017, we were invited to a meeting in which the ministers of energy of Canada, the US and Mexico were present. At that time, there was talk of creating a northern energy block. This idea is still alive today and the outlines of a treaty are being developed. Furthermore, we have not perceived any uncertainty related to the USMCA treaty.

Q: How do you help foreign SMEs compete on equal terms with their local counterparts?

A: Competition between Mexican and foreign SMEs does not take place on equal terms. Many of the foreign companies interested in participating in the Mexican market arrive here without any knowledge of the country. What we do is create alliances between local and foreign SMEs, since the latter need a local partner to guide them as they start their activities here.

Q: How is Access to Energy adapting to the new role that PEMEX will play in this administration?

A: Our goal always is to be allies of our customers. We adapt to all changes and find the windows of opportunity in any given sector but always based on the needs of our customers, who know best the product they want to sell. We are business facilitators. We identify trends and after a thorough analysis we knock on the doors of companies that could be partners for our clients, always respecting the existing regulatory framework. In this way, doing business with PEMEX has become a window of opportunity for us and our clients.

Q: What are the main trends and areas of opportunity that you have identified?

A: Legal certainty exists and those companies that won auctions and tenders will continue to develop them. That is, the investor is protected by law. What we have identified is that PEMEX’s budget for in-house project development will increase considerably; they will need suppliers to meet their objectives. An example is the new refinery for which four companies (Bechtel-Tecnict, Worley Parsons-Jacobs, Technip and KBR) have been invited to participate in the tender. These four companies are going to need specialized suppliers and that is where we have to position ourselves to be ready when everything starts. We are the ideal ally for our clients because our services span the breadth of the industry value chain.

Q: What requests would you make of the federal government to continue promoting the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: I would like the government to take a more positive view of private investment. Most of these companies are at the forefront of the implementation of good practices and have codes of ethics that are scrupulously applied to eliminate corruption. I also would like the government to provide more support for SMEs, which would make Mexico more competitive internationally.

 

Access to Energy (A2E) is a multidisciplinary corporate service shelter with the knowledge and experience to provide comprehensive tailored solutions that facilitate the opening of new businesses and operations in Mexico.