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News Article

Rediscovering Mexico’s Global Brand

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:21

Given the disappearance of ProMéxico, a new strategy must rise among private and public entities to maintain Mexico’s brand attractiveness for private investment, panelists at Mexico Business Forum 2019 said on Wednesday at the Hotel Marquis Reforma in Mexico City. “Mexico’s tourism industry represents 8.7 percent of the country’s GDP. It is the country’s third-largest industry by income and generates 10 million jobs,” said María Eugenia González O’Farrill, Partner at Nordiks Global.

The new challenge, she said, relies on consolidating a new image through a common front between the involved stakeholders. In this sense, the federal government, states and municipalities need to work together and align their priorities. “First, we need to define the type of investment we want to attract. Every dollar counts but not every dollar weights the same,” added Gilberto García, Director General of Foreign Investment of the Ministry of Economy. He said there needs to be a focus on the specific value chains that will have a major impact in the country’s economy.

Alejandro Guzmán, Strategic General Coordinator of Economic Development and Growth of the State of Jalisco, said that there is potential that resources could be lost. “In our case, we have the Jalisco brand, but also the Guadalajara brand and even the Puerto Vallarta brand. If we do not define our targets, resources could get lost in this process. The state is following this strategy and after defining specific targets of investment, establishing the mechanisms to do it and with which strategic partners this will materialize is the next step,” he said. “Mexico has different tourism models such as medical, sports, adventure and business. With this opportunity, we need to collaborate with the government, tourism promotion offices, airlines and private companies.”

On the private sector side, the country’s flagship carrier has a strategic role to play. “Mexico’s brand has a total value of US$1 billion. Our priority is to continue with its promotion. Following the past administration’s strategy, we developed an annual promotion plan together with ProMéxico and the National Council of Tourism Promotion (CPTM). During this transition phase, we will reinforce this promotion through the airline,” said Paul Verhagen, SVP International Sales of Aeroméxico

Gúzman added that the disappearance of ProMéxico had to be done gradually to allow the incoming administration to take advantage of these resources before changing strategy. “There are many embassies and consulates around the world. Nevertheless, to achieve successful results, we need qualified people who have not only the experience in managing these topics but also the availability to comply with their responsibilities and promote Mexico at the same time.”

On the other hand, García said that resources could be better used. “In this decentralized effort, we need coordination with the rest of the governmental agencies. Mexico has 46 foreign services offices; we need to focus on a strategy that is attractive for investment in terms of security, infrastructure and through the consolidation of a qualified workforce.” In the short term, the SE in coordination with the SRE is developing a Global Economic Intelligence Unit. “The idea of this unit is that it develops business intelligence and data analysis to identify competitive markets in states and municipalities. We want to link those with the private industry.”

The panelists agreed there is an urgency among both the private and public sectors to respond quickly to this shift. “It is important to put pressure on this coordination. We have been meeting with chambers such as CONCAMIN and CONCANACO, in addition to promoting alliances with other stakeholders. In this sense, the private segment is organizing more quickly,” said González O’Farrill.