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Mexico as a Global Player: Foreign Affairs (May 15)

We collaborated with Foreign Affairs as a supporting organizationfor the conference “Mexico as a Global Player.” The panel discussion was a diverse one focusing on where Mexico finds itself now and the direction in which it’s headed.  Confirmed speakers included: José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Mexico Jaime Zabludovsky, President, Mexican Council on International Relations (Comexi) Shannon O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies, Council on Foreign Relations Sergio M. Alcocer, Undersecretary for North America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico Luis Robles Miajas, Chairman of the Board, BBVA Bancomer Francisco Nicolás González Díaz, General Director, ProMexico 

North America: Economic and Business Relations within the Global Context (May 22)
Authored by: Erika Arechiga, Co-edited by Marianna Rossell & Adolfo Kurczyn

Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Consul General of Mexico in New York, John F. Prato, Consul General of Canada in New York, and US representatives gathered at this conference to discuss economic topics, the future of NAFTA, new trade agreements and the resurgence of manufacturing in North America.

Consul Prato delivered an informative speech and mentioned that under NAFTA, North America’s economy has become an integrated global supply chain as a result of coordination, transportation and border management.  He advised Mexico plays a significant role in the North American car industry and made an analysis contrasting statistics from Mexico and countries such as Brazil and China.  Consul Prato considers that the U.S., Mexico and Canada are working together for the world markets as a result of effective and dynamic trade agreements.  

NAFTA stimulates capital flows and promotes better paid jobs.  The North American region has an incredible opportunity to prosper and has a competitive advantage over the world due to the fact that for first time, the region is becoming the world center for dialogue and investment with regards to the energy industry.  Thus, Consul Prato made a call to continue with a spirit of innovation and share efforts to protect our land, air and water as we try to make our energy reserves available.  Consul Prato brought up several key topics to discuss with his Mexican counterpart, Ambassador Fuentes-Berain, such as moving North America ahead, maximizing the region’s competitive advantage and improving productivity collectively.  Consul Prato concluded by advising that the Canada – Mexico trade relations are the third largest for Canada representing 32 billion dollars.

Ambassador Fuentes-Berain recognized that joining NAFTA was a big step forward for Mexico.  Today, Mexico is one of the leading exporters of the world and one of the most open economies.  She highlighted that Mexico belongs by geography to the North American region but is also entirely a Latin American country.  In context, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada market ranges amongst the 1 trillion dollar figures per year and the Mexico and US trade alone represents more than half of this number representing the second largest trade region in the world.  More than a million dollars in trade crosses the U.S.-Mexico border every minute and it supports more than six million jobs in the US.

Ambassador Fuentes-Berain explained that Mexico plays an important role in economy and as a result, the country has preferential access to 45 countries and billions of potential consumers.  Mexico is a leader in the high technology manufacturing and the 1st global exporter of flat T.V. screens, the 1st exporter of appliances, the 4th exporter of vehicles an and the 6th exporter in the aerospace industry.  This transformation had been possible because of solid democratic institutions, macroeconomic stability and a young, well trained work force.  Ambassador Fuentes- Berain mentioned that the administration of Peña Nieto’s initiatives to reform education, financial services, telecommunication, taxes and energy sectors, have resulted in positive effects for the North American region.  Now, it’s a region with a more competitive economy as a result of increasing its productivity, creating new jobs, extending social rights and by attracting more investment over the next years.  Ambassador Fuentes-Breain concluded by quoting President Obama by saying “Geography has made us neighbors, tradition has made us friends.”

The keynote messages where followed by a panel discussion between Eric Miller, Jorge Suarez-Valez and Brian Larkin. Panelist shared their perspectives, statistics, and connections to NAFTA. Furthermore, they analyzed trilateral relations and mentioned the challenges that exist. They agreed that what happens in one of the tree countries affect the region, particularly when their work relies on bilateral projects.


Latin America Meets Broadway: Exporting, Importing and Co-Producing Musicals & Plays (June 2)
Authored by: Erika Arechiga, Co-edited by Marianna Rossell & Adolfo Kurczyn

In June 2014, the USMCOC-NE Chapter partnered with R.Evolucion Latina and Salgado Production to organize the event “Latin America Meets Broadway: Exporting, Importing and Co-Producing Musicals & Plays.”  The event was held at the offices of Sheppard Mullin in NYC.

During the first panel, the speakers shared their experience in the industry both in the U.S. and in their countries of origin. Morris Gilbert mentioned that when he began his career in Mexico 16 years ago, there were a lot of talented individuals but nobody to support them and help further develop their skills.  As a result, they had to travel by their own means in order to find the right people that believed in their talent, took a chance and invested in them. Today, Mexico is exporting talent around the world.  He also added that in Mexico, there are no investors and the company itself plans the performances and finds the sponsors. 

Panelist Luis Salgado spoke about the talent in Puerto Rico and his successful story in NYC. He also shared his experience in Peru with “Candela” and the young producers that he met in Colombia. He is convinced that people are hungry for musical production and for human connection.  Carlos Arana mentioned that from a business point of view, finding investment or a partner is a big challenge for the industry.  Regina Gordin shared her financial insights to be able to finance a project or equipment.  She advised that the government needs to be very careful in how they finance projects which is why it’s challenging to find the appropriate support.

The moderator Kelly Crabb asked panelists what share what the key factors for success within the industry were and all panelists agreed that they had to love their job and have faith in their projects.  The biggest challenge is to bring the people to the theater, Morris Gilbert said.  Luis Salgado shared his success stories since he was a choreographer followed by Felipe Gamba, who shared his experience on Disney productions and mentioned that for most of their productions, the movie was release before the musical. He added that each country has a specific cultural expression.

Finally Alejandro Ramos made a question related with the competition in theater productions in Mexico. Morris Gilbert answered that Mexico has more competition today than before but is not at the level that it should be.
In the second panel, Ken Davenport shared how he began producing his owns shows and Bianca Marroquin shared how she began as a flamenco, folkloric, jazz, tap and ballet dancer.  

The event concludes with a cocktail reception in which the attendees had the opportunity to network with the panelists.

Cocktail Reception: Mexico City's Tourism Office (June 10)

We joined Mexico City’s Tourism Office and its Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marques, at a cocktail that took place at Sky Room in NYC to launch the program "Mis Raices.” The event was attended by 80 guests, in which the minister presented the new approach his office is taking in order to attract more tourism to Mexico City.  A short video of the city was presented demonstrating all of what the vibrant city has to offer and enticed its viewers to want to plan their next visit.


Sustainable Economic Development Summit (Aug 25 & 26)

The USMCOC held a summit at the Four Seasons in Dallas, Las Collinas, Texas on Aug 25 & 26 which was designed to address in a timely manner, issues facing international trade in North America, such as Energy, Infrastructure, Transportation and Logistics, considering the key element of Sustainability, and adding to the discussion Energy Independence.  The intent was to focus on current issues that affect transportation, energy, manufacturing, services, trade facilitation, regulatory structure and emerging barriers for the express purpose of continuing to address the most important issues and information needed for our countries to have a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

Spain & Latin American Networking Cocktail (Aug 28)

We had our eleventh annual networking event in conjunction with the Spanish chamber as well as other Latin American organizations and chambers at the Gabarron foundation.  It was attended by 200+ guests from different companies in NYC ranging from business men, finance executives, attorneys, publishers, real estate agents and developers, etc.

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