Interview with Alejandro Tello, Governor of Zacatecas, Mexico
Q. Where does China stand in the list of priorities for you in terms of developing relationships and bringing the benefits Zacatecas has to offer to market?
A. It is a high-priority relationship, which I am pretty sure it can reach a great degree of mutual benefits for both parties (involved). Our main competitive advantages are: our strategic geographical location, as well as our great connectivity (air, land and railway connectivity); also, our skilled labour force and liaison with the main education instututions, both at technician and professional level.
Q. What sectors in Zacatecas are the most attractive for Chinese investors currently, and what incentives does the state government have in place to facilitate inbound investment?
A. Key sectors: Automotive, Renewable energies, SPV and Eolic parks, Mining, Agribusiness, Information Technologies (IT) and Metal-Mechanical, in general.
Incentives that state government has in place to facilitate inbound investment: Soft-Landing Program, Government committed to facilitate establishment of new foreign investment to the state, providing legal security (guaranteed), Recruitment and Training Scholarships for newly-hired employees during initial phase of company, Cash Incentive of up to 10% of the total investment project, depending on the company’s project general overview and planning.
Q. Are there any inaccurate preconceptions about investing in Mexico that you have noticed while meeting with potential investing companies from China? If so, how do you overcome these?
A. Probably, that until recently, China wasn’t such a priority from a perspective of developing relationships aiming to attract Chinese investment to Mexico, possibly because of the close commercial relationship historically in place between Mexico and the United States of America. However, in the current global context, this can be somewhat easily overcome, by having an adequate and upfront approach with Chinese companies, just as it occurred during this trip to China with the objective of fostering long-term relationships with a vision to establish new investment from China in Zacatecas, while reaffirming Chinese companies’ directors, of our State government’s high-priority focus on China and its great potential, in terms of business and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
Q. How developed in the workforce in Zacatecas, and in which sectors?
A. Our main strengths are in the following key sectors: metal-mechanical, agribusiness and information technologies (IT), due to the importance of such sectors to the economy of the State and the history of success within the economic development of the state of Zacatecas.
Q. Does the current US government administration have any positive or negative impact on the capabilities for overseas investing companies to base their distributions hubs for North America in Mexico?A. This situation has a positive impact on the capabilities for overseas investing companies, to transfer distribution hubs from the United States over to Mexico, due to a more welcoming atmosphere for business-making in Mexico and a total commitment from the government to support and attract foreign investment, providing adequate framework and infrastructure.
Q. What are your long term objectives for building a strong relationship between the state of Zacatecas and China?
A. To become China’s strategic partner in Mexico, as some sort of an entry through our state, to obtain presence of Chinese companies in Mexico (by gaining first access and presence in Zacatecas); thus, establishing a mutually beneficial and long-term relationship, analyzing potential opportunities for new investment, based on the state’s main competitive advantages, and also, focusing as a first step in the State’s key sectors: Automotive, Renewable energies, SPV and Eolic parks, Mining, Agribusiness, Information Technologies (IT) and Metal-Mechanical.