Vladimiro de la Mora
President
American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AMCHAM)
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AmCham Sees Shared Challenges, Opportunities

Mon, 07/26/2021 - 09:01

Q. As the new President of the American Chamber of Commerce, what are your main priorities?

A: AmCham's DNA is to strengthen integration between Mexico and the US to foster greater commercial exchange and collaboration that result in a better environment for social and business development. This historical, economic and cultural integration of both countries includes shared challenges but also opportunities for cooperation to solve them.

In this regard, in light of the socio-political juncture in both countries and given the impact of COVID-19, under my leadership AmCham will continue to contribute to Mexico's competitiveness and bilateral integration, under five strategic priorities: (i) Economic recovery and integration of North America; (ii) Bilateral trade and USMCA’s implementation; (iii) Regulatory cooperation; (iv) Security and Rule of law: Trust and certainty for investments; and (v) Sustainable growth with social responsibility, care for the environment, compliance, and diversity and inclusion.

Q: One of the main goals of the American Chamber of Commerce is to promote investment. What are the main strategies the Chamber is employing at this time to promote FDI in Mexico?

A: There is no magic trick; investment needs competitiveness and certainty. Nevertheless, USMCA represents a great opportunity for Mexico to access a 490-million-people market, and for the block to grow in competitiveness and integration.

At AmCham, we maintain a permanent dialogue with the authorities at all levels, sharing our expertise and vision on how to create these conditions of certainty, with legality, consistency, respect to contracts, transparency and free trade.

AmCham constantly promotes bilateral trade and investment through:

  • Our National Committee Network. With 27 committees in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, we gather our companies’ best corporate practices and concerns to promote public policies that foster a better business environment.
  • High-level dialogue with authorities on both sides of the border, including working groups with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.
  • AmCham’s Trade & Investment Center. The Center conducts market research and provides advice to our partners who want to grow their businesses in both countries with current business trends.
  • Virtual Networking and B2B, one of them at a regional level with the AmChams of Latin America.
  • Doing Business in Mexico Series. This is a series of webinars in which experts and authorities highlight the value of investing in each state.
  • Through our partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce, we reinforce and promote free trade, intellectual property rights, the rule of law, innovation and talent development and inclusion.

Q: The pandemic landed a blow to economies worldwide. What approach is AmCham taking to ameliorate its effects and support the recovery of both Mexico and the US?

A: Our formula for recovery is in the sum of:

  1. The potential of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. The pandemic taught us that we cannot neglect this strategic partnership. A permanent, proactive and institutional dialogue between the binational public and private sectors is the key to address shared challenges.
  2. The social value of our companies. Companies are the greatest agents of change. We have a social footprint and the need to be responsible and proactive in creating virtuous circles. Our more than 1,000 companies generate more than 8 million direct and indirect formal jobs and represent 21 percent of the national GDP and 20 percent of private sector investment.
  3. A mutual, long-term commitment to Mexico as a strategic and reliable partner. In its 104 years, AmCham has accompanied Mexico in its many transformations. Our business community is committed to take a proactive role in Mexico's economic recovery, to protect jobs and investment, and to lay the groundwork for a more inclusive, resilient and competitive economy.

Q: In this period of uncertainty, what are the biggest challenges AmCham is addressing?

A: As a natural referent for binational trade and a facilitator of business opportunities between both countries, we have two major priorities:

(I) Helping companies to reinvent themselves through new work formats, talent development, innovative processes, new trends and technologies to identify business opportunities; and

(II) Promoting binational integration and dialogue, with recommendations to protect supply chains, employment, investment, economic activity and value chains, with a focus on SMEs.

Q: Which areas of opportunity have you identified in the commercial relationship between Mexico and the US?

Through its stimulus package with support for state and local governments, families and small businesses, a commitment to investment and job creation, as well as a rapid advancing vaccination plan, the US has set the course for its recovery.

Mexico must take advantage of this injection of resources into the U.S. economy, responding in a timely manner to a potential demand for exports and facilitating the creation of jobs and investment, through the enforcement of the Rule of law and respect of international agreements, including USMCA.

Mexico has the opportunity to consolidate itself as the main ally of the US under the concept of "ally-shoring," a step beyond nearshoring, since there is an additional value between allies with ideological affinity.

Q: Regarding the USMCA, how can Mexico further take advantage of this agreement to boost its economic recovery?

A: With its geographic advantage, the development of its industry and talent, and its export capacity, Mexico has a great opportunity to continue consolidating its position as a key partner and the best supplier to the US and Canada, with access to a market of 490 million people. 

In the context of recovery, the agreement is a positive asset for investment flow and certainty, trust and collaboration. However, it is not enough to trigger social and economic development. Mexico must create the necessary conditions to encourage growth and certainty.

Q: What are the main expectations you have for the US and Mexico in the short and middle term?

Mexico and US integration has advanced in various ways that go beyond trade: Border facilitation, homologation of rules and cooperation mechanisms are key to increase their competitiveness as a block, and their resilience to respond to any context.

As representatives of the US-Mexico binational business community, our priority is to continue to be a trusted and proactive link between companies and authorities to strengthen binational cooperation; to promote free trade, the rule of law and business competitiveness; and to create the opportunities that Mexican communities demand.

Photo by:   Vladimiro de la Mora