Jorge Luis Torres
President
AMCHAM
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102 Years of Sustained Investment in Mexico

By Gabriela Mastache | Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:45

Q: After 102 years, how relevant has AMCHAM become in Mexico? 

A: Historically, American investment represents 50 percent of Mexico’s total foreign investment. Therefore, the US private sector is an essential ally for Mexico’s growth. As representatives of the US-Mexico business community in the country, AMCHAM is a key agent of integration and constructive dialogue, between Mexico and the US. We are committed to the creation of well-being and opportunities, as well as to making Mexico a safe and attractive destination for investment to enhance its competitiveness. Our more than 1,450 members are responsible for the creation of 2.5 million direct jobs and more than 6 million indirect jobs, representing 21 percent of the GDP and 20 percent of Mexico's private investment. Beyond numbers, this means social and economic development through formal employment, talent development, innovation and best practices of inclusion, social responsibility and business ethics.  

Q: In addition to the ratification and implementation of USMCA, what are the main difficulties that AMCHAM members face in order to do business in the country? 

A: FDI from our companies represents more than US$5 billion yearly and we have all manifested our intentions to maintain this pace. The challenge is to ensure sustainable growth, which demands security, law enforcement, talent and competitiveness. Clear rules and a total respect of the rule of law are basic conditions for companies to keep investing, operating and producing in Mexico. Values such as transparency, an ongoing fight against corruption, formality and legal certainty make long-term projects viable and are key to maintain Mexico’s competitiveness and development. 

At the same time, human capital is the most valuable asset for companies. For this reason, Mexico must strengthen the joint effort between the private and public sector, along with academic institutions, to provide the workforce with the necessary skills and abilities to face the 21st century.  

Q: What elements of USMCA could be improved to foster further integration in the North American region? 

A: USMCA is the result of a negotiation process through which, with the support of the private sector, Mexico, Canada and the US achieved a balanced agreement that represents a true win-win-win. USMCA is important because it boosts investment across the region; strengthens value chains, particularly for SMEs; creates an adequate environment to do business and sets clear and current rules to increase North American competitiveness. Like any agreement, USMCA may need adjustments over time, which is why it includes its own review process and mechanisms. 

Q: What is the role that AMCHAM members play in Mexico’s social and economic development? 

A: Our companies share the commitment to generate a better business environment and boost Mexico’s competitiveness. They operate with strict adherence to the National, American and international regulatory frameworks with the highest standards of transparency and compliance, which translates into better living conditions for employees and their families. This also leads to development in the communities where they operate.

Through AMCHAM, Mexican and US companies of all sizes join efforts towards common goals, issue public policy recommendations, exchange and incorporate best practices. Companies can also involve themselves in an open and constructive dialogue with authorities of the three levels on both sides of the border. AMCHAM facilitates trade and promotes further integration between Mexico and the United States. For example, in 2020 we met with figures such as Christopher Landau, Ambassador of the US in Mexico and Honorary President of AMCHAM, and Lieutenant Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis, to review work agendas and generate synergies in matters of security, trade and migration. 

Q: What are AMCHAM’s expectations for the next two years considering the trade relationship between Mexico and the US?  

A: Beyond any juncture, our companies are Mexico’s long-term allies. In an international scenario marked by uncertainty and a complex political context, both countries have demonstrated their ability to move forward in commercial and political matters. Between January and December 2019, Mexico became the largest trading partner of the US with a total trade of goods of US$614.5 billion. This also shows that our integration cannot be undone. We trust that there are great opportunities to strengthen the relationship between Mexico and the US and that these will be enhanced after USMCA implementation. Mexico is ready to attract more investment, remain the best ally to the US and consolidate as a competitive country.

 

The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) was created in 1917 as an independent, non-partisan organization that acts as a link between business leaders in Mexico and the US. The organization aims to promote free trade and sustained investment between both countries

Photo by:   AMCHAM
Gabriela Mastache Gabriela Mastache Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst