Bulletin 405 - Friday, January 23, 2009
New Holcim Apasco Plant in Hermosillo
Holcim Apasco will invest US$200 million in 2009 in the construction of their new plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, which requires a total investment of US$40 million.
With this, Holcim Apasco guarantees there will be enough high quality cement for infrastructure works all over Mexico, especially in the Northeast Region, the company headed by Eduardo Kretchmer assured.
Construction of this plant, which will be ready in 2010, will generate one thousand 200 temporary jobs, and when operations start they will employ between 700 and 800 people. The plant will also provide for an expansion in Apasco's installed capacity of 1.6 million tons of cement.
"We are confident that the Government's impulse in infrastructure and housing sector will be decisive this year for the gradual improvement of cement demand", Gustavo Gastelum, Communications and Relations Director for Holcim Apasco, said.
Source: El Universal
Schlumberger starts operating in Guadalupe
Monterrey, Mexico -
Schlumberger, the petroleum services multinational company, started yesterday operations in a plant in Guadalupe, where they will produce parts for machinery used in the perforation of hydrocarbons wells.
US$23 million have already been invested in this plant, out of US$40 million budgeted for the plant, which is starting operations with 50 employees.
Eric Larson, President Completions for Schlumberger, said that they will also allocate resources for personnel training.
From Finsa Aeropuerto Industrial Park they will supply the equipment required for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon fields, both inland and deep water, located in Mexico, Brazil and West Africa.
In its operations in Mexico Schlumberger - which has been working for several years now with Pemex - will be on the lookout for larger investments that could be triggered by the recent Petroleum Reform.
Juan Manuel Delgado, CEO for Schlumberger Mexico, said that as projects are tested by Pemex, his company will participate as machinery and services supplier.
Source: El Norte
Safran will invest MEP$2.1 billion in Queretaro
the French Group Safran, which is already operating in Queretaro, announced. they will invest MEP$2.1 billion in order to build two new industrial plants, which will generate 510 direct jobs.
The new project of the French Group Safran considers 2 main business lines through two different companies: Messier Dowty, specialized in manufacturing landing gear systems and Snecma Propulsion Systems, manufacturer of engines for aircraft.
Both plants will be located in a 17.1 hectares land with an 85 thousand square meters (914,928 square feet) construction, leaving 11.8 hectares as an area reserved for future expansions by Safran Group.
Messier-Dowty is leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of landing gear systems. Messier-Dowty's landing gears are in service in more than 19 thousand 500 aircraft, which means more than 35 thousand landings every day.
Also, on October 10, 2007, with a US$20 million investment, Safran Group inaugurated in Queretaro Industrial Park the aeronautic equipment plant Messier Services Americas. Messier Services offers maintenance and repair services for aircraft landing gear and hydraulic equipment; it generates 180 jobs.
Source: El Financiero
Layoff of 900 temporary workers in Volkswagen Puebla confirmed
900 temporary workers will leave Volkswagen de Mexico this month, according to the assembler's Union Leader Victor Cervantes Rosas.
Mr. Cervantes Rosas said that it is only a matter of knowing how workers will leave the Company, because chances are the situation of automotive industry, both in Mexico and elsewhere in the world, will not improve in the short term.
He further said he was concerned about this situation, because this problem is arising early in the year, which could even mean losing some permanent jobs.
The Union Leader said they do not know yet if there will be more technical stoppages, even if this is a measure which has not been ruled out for this year, because by cutting-down the above-mentioned jobs, the plant will reduce automotive production from one thousand 800 to one thousand 400 units assembled every day.
Plans for new Freightliner plant in Mexico stay firm
Plans to start operating the new Freightliner trucks assembly plant in.Saltillo Coahuila keep going, and therefore the US$350 million announced in 2007 for this project could be invested in the first quarter of 2009.
Heavy Freightliner trucks will be assembled at the Plant. Operations gained relevance now that trucks factories owned by Daimler Commercial Vehicles Group in Portland, USA and in Ontario, Canada will close and part of their assembly lines will be transferred to the new facilities in Mexico, according to Guadalupe Alcantara, Communications Manager for Daimler Commercial Vehicles in Mexico.
In Mexico the factory will produce Casadio Freightliner trucks. Freightliner will also sell M2 and Columbia models, in addition to special cargo units.
Therefore, with a US$350 million investment to be made by Daimler Commercial Vehicles and US$100 million to be invested by auto parts and components suppliers coming to Saltillo, Coahuila, the new plant will have a production capacity of 30 thousand units per year as of 2009.
The Plant will directly employ 700 people and its operations will be mainly focused on exporting, both to the USA and Canada.
Fersinsa will invest in new technologies
Fersinsa, located in Ramos Arizpe, started 2009 with changes at management. level and important investment projects. Fersinsa is the only company that produces raw penicillin and Penicillin G in the American Continent and one of the largest producers of semi-synthetic penicillin derivatives in the world.
Fersinsa's new CEO informed that this year they will invest in new technologies to be more competitive and protect environment. Also, Mr. Gonzalez Torres acknowledged there had been the risk of cutting down one production line, with 200 jobs in the Synthesis Plant, but the new investment package reverted this situation back.
Without proving any details about the investment yet, because it will be in two months when full information is disclosed, he did say it will be a rather strong investment to be implemented throughout two years. They will manufacture the same product, but with enzymes instead of chemicals.
Fersinsa generates 480 direct jobs and close to 4 thousand indirect jobs. They currently produce 2 thousand tons of semi-synthetic products in their Synthesis Plant and close to 5.5 trillion units of penicillin per year, 50% for Mexico and the remaining for Latin America.
Source: El Norte
MEXICO'S WEEKLY HEADLINES
- -- GM announces the first GM technical stoppage in Guanajuato
- -- Cifunsa would enter the third technical stoppage
- -- DHL will invest 112 million dollars in Mexico
- -- Skyworks Solutions is currently stable and looking for growth in Baja California
- -- Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions opens in Mexico
A MEXICAN'S VIEWPOINT: The Washington Consensus and Neo-liberalism
Whenever talking about the crisis being faced by world economy, there is always someone willing to "point fingers"; however no one is to be blamed for what is going on all over the world, not even the Government and/or President of the USA, as the first economy in the world. If someone or something is to be blamed that should be Markets, especially in some countries where they are left in the hands of large conglomerates, ruled by a few families, in the name or on the grounds of free market. Markets have been unable to create the wealth and jobs demanded by society. Next, I will talk about the very origins of this crisis, which goes back to a few decades ago mainly under "The Washington Consensus", which some authors consider a synonym of economic neo-liberalism.
The term "The Washington Consensus" was first coined by Professor John Williamson, economist and professor in several US, Brazilian and English universities and writer of the article: "What Washington Means by Policy Reform". Professor Williamson gathered a set of measures and recommendations made by several academic groups, and called this summary "The Washington Consensus". The irony is that Williamson himself later denied that this proposal – its contents and/or economic programs – had been proposed by them and not by international institutions, even if it was the institutions that actually proposed it as an economic program per se.
As a matter of fact, The Washington Consensus is a set of measures and prescriptions from scholars and academicians regarding the steps taken and policies adopted by Latin American countries in the late eighties, when they faced high interest rates, raising prices, inflation, currency devaluations and deterioration of Latin American economies.
These problems arise from "unrestrained" credit received by countries, both oil-producing and non-oil-producing. To better understand how the problem started, we must mention that there was a huge increase in oil prices in most of the 70's. Many developing countries were granted "excessive" credits from international financial institutions, grounded on such non-permanent income surplus. The problem laid precisely there: the income was not permanent. Non-oil-producing countries were also granted credits "out-of-proportion" when considering their income, because international financial institutions had to find a destination and/or recycle the high income and/or deposits they were receiving from oil exporting countries, product of high prices per barrel. Only in those years, between 1973 and 1979, the price of one barrel of petroleum went from US$3 to US$40. The above-mentioned problems worsened by the day and debt restructures became a routine in governments; so, measures were needed to actually eliminate the problem and stop giving simple "aspirins" to a much deteriorated economy. Therefore, a set of recommendations emerged, which were basically necessary public policies, consisting of mechanisms which, if implemented and after countries adopted them, international financial institutions would simultaneously accept, therefore reducing debts and making a definitive restructure of their liabilities. These policies, applied due to the excessive indebtedness we mentioned above, brought with them negotiations which ultimate purpose was cutting down debt. This was known as The Brady Plan.
The instruments and/or mechanisms consisted of 10 very important items to obtain reductions in oversized liabilities.
The first proposal was fiscal policy discipline, followed by redirection of public spending toward sectors with essential priority, such as health, primary education and infrastructure. Also, the need of a true tax reform, mainly by broadening the tax base; market-determined interest rates; liberalization of trade and inward foreign direct investment; privatization of state enterprises; deregulation and legal security, mainly regarding property rights. These policies became even more pronounced when they were identified as Neo-liberalism.
As a matter of fact many countries, including Mexico, have adopted most of these measures, maybe in some administrations with a greater emphasis than in others; however, not all administrations have adopted them "as a package". The opposite of Neo-liberalism is pure populism, where governments practically rule over the economy in every area and sector. As President Carlos Salinas once said, excessive populism turns people into "underage children" making them completely dependent on the state. This is what happens in communist countries such as Cuba and happened in the former Soviet Union. As everything in life, extremes are bad. We are now living the extreme of neo-liberalism, affected by markets' crisis, with the consequences we all know. This is subject for a full research, could even be a Doctoral Dissertation.
In conclusion, the reality is that before the lack of capacity by economy to generate the opportunities required by people, maybe this would be a good time to find a "break-even point", such as "Social Liberalism" in the late 80's and early 90's, which was a combination of principles in pure populism and in neo-liberalism and/or "The Washington Consensus" discussed above, which could bring solutions in the long term. Most likely the solution lies there, to avoid leaving to the market the way to solve problems ailing people now. This means that it should be an effort shared by the State as a whole and markets ruling over current economy.
By: Samuel Peña Guzman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(*) THE AUTHOR IS ATTORNEY AT LAW GRADUATED FROM TEC DE MONTERREY -ITESM-, WITH A MASTER'S DEGREE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (LL.M) FROM AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW AND A MASTER'S DEGREE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (MPA) FROM THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. HE HAS BEEN INTERNATIONAL LAW PROFESSOR IN NUEVO LEON'S PUBLIC UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON -UANL. HE IS CURRENTLY HEAD OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT OFFICE FOR THE STATE OF NUEVO LEON GOVERNMENT, HE IS MEMBER OF THE MEXICAN COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, CONSEJO MEXICANO DE ASUNTOS INTERNACIONALES (COMEXI). OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THE AUTHOR'S EXCLUSIVELY AND DO NOT REPRESENT THOSE OF THE INSTITUTIONS TO WHICH THE AUTHOR IS LINKED.