Paolo Rocca, President of the Management Board of Ternium, was a moderator in the first panel.
During the Virtual Congress of Alacero, the participants discussed about how to enhance the industrial field, make use of the new market features, and generate sustainable development for the country.
"Even though Latin America has a lack of infrastructure, a limited export capacity for industrial-products, and a weakness on its value chain, it has been presented with the historic opportunity in which the emerging power of China is facing the current dominant power, the U.S. The value chains redefinition offers to the country the opportunity to create an industrial development".
Those were the words of Paolo Rocca, President of the Management Board of Ternium, who thus summarized the challenge of the industry addressed on the Alacero Virtual Congress 2020. During the forum, several academics, analysts, entrepreneurs, and government officials discussed the path that the country needs to follow to support development.
"The industrial field is essential for the social mobility and the institutional quality of the countries but, at the same time, it needs confidence and strength in the industries of our countries", added Rocca, who was in charge of moderating the first panel of the Congress.
On the other hand, the CEO of Ternium and President of Alacero, Máximo Vedoya, said that the industry is part of the solution for the regional integration, growth, and inclusion. "With the new global change, we have the opportunity of accepting the value chain repositioning (from China) in our country and, after that, building a new Latin America where the quality employment can be a factor for change in the society".
Vedoya showed himself as "mildly optimistic" and predicted a good 2021. "The conditions to make a difference are already there, so we can go back to the growth path", he said.
Panel of "The reindustrialization of Latin America"
What Topics Were Discussed in the Panels?
In the first panel of analysts, some of the participants were: Dani Rodrik, one of the 100 most influential economists of the world; Andrés Malamud, a specialist on democratic institutions, foreign policy and regional integration processes; and Andrés Oppenheimmer, CNN presenter and one of the most influential persons in Latin America.
There was a guiding principle in all their presentations: education and reindustrialization must work together to compete in an economy that is changing to build more regional supply chains rather than global. In addition, making it in a context that is now more technological and robotized, that needs more employee training, and where inequality is one of the biggest social problems.
The special speakers were government representatives: Carlos Da Costa, Secretary of Productivity, Employment and Competitiveness of Brazil; and Graciela Márquez Colín, Secretary of Economy of Mexico.
"Latin America must make use of repositioning to attract companies that moved to China. We need to make our countries attractive for those companies now that global chains are becoming shorter", said Márquez Colín, who presented the strategies of the Mexican government to face the economic recovery.
Da Costa reviewed the structural reforms that Brazil presents to improve the business environment and to encourage the companies. "We want to support the low carbon economy (LCE), such as the steel industry in Brazil that has a lower carbon footprint than the global average", he stated.
The final activity consisted on a round table in which the CEOs of the main steel companies of the country participated. During his participation, Vedoya mentioned environmental care, a key subject for the company and the community. He emphasized that steel takes part in the circular economy because it can be recycled infinitely. "Steel is recycled more than all other materials together", he said.
The CEO of Ternium also mentioned the industry's contributions to reduce its environmental footprint, such as the technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) or the change from carbon to natural gas and then hydrogen, as a reducing agent. "The only three plants in America that capture carbon through direct reduction are in Mexico. Ternium captures this carbon to later sell it to the soft drinks company", said as an example.