Máximo Vedoya, Ternium's CEO
Ternium's CEO Máximo Vedoya took part in a panel to discuss the challenges facing strategic sectors, the opportunities offered by the USMCA, and the impact of the pandemic.
There is no Mexico is an attractive country for investments in the financial and productive sectors agreed the executives on the panel entitled Is Mexico still a destination for investment?, held on the first day of the Expansión Summit, a congress organized by the business publication Expansión.
However, there are several issues pending that need to be resolved in order to make this happen. Máximo Vedoya agreed with the other three panelists - the leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce, BlackRock Mexico and Volkswagen - that it was vital to guarantee the rule of law and business standards, and added another aspect: “Mexico needs to focus on developing its infrastructure. Today, logistics and energy costs in Mexico are extremely expensive. If we compare the energy rates we are charged with those our US competitors pay, in many cases we are paying twice as much as them. There has to be a highly robust investment policy targeting infrastructure, both private and public”
He pointed out, for example, that freight costs to send material from Monterrey to Puebla (from the north to the center of Mexico) are the same as for sending shipments from China to Tampico (northeastern Mexico).
Vedoya indicated that joint work is needed between industry and the public sector to attract more investment and develop the capabilities to comply with the commitments enshrined in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the North American trade pact that entered into force in July.
Did people’s perception change with the pandemic?
The CEO explained that the pandemic prompted companies to reassess the likely changes there would be. In the medium term, he said, Mexico is seen as a "great destination" to invest and it should take advantage of this situation to improve. He added that one of the great opportunities can be seen in getting value chains to move from Asia to North America so that the products consumed here gain further added value in the region.
Vedoya explained what, in his opinion, were the three great challenges facing Ternium and the manufacturing industry in general as a result of the pandemic: maintaining safe operations and avoiding the spread of infection, working closely with customers, and helping the communities where they have a presence.
Also on the panel were Samantha Ricciardi, CEO of BlackRock Mexico; Jorge Torres, president of the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, and Steffen Reiche, president of the Board of Volkswagen de México.