An interview with Héctor Pérez
How do you assess the outlook for your economy?
The recently proposed cross-party reforms by new president Enrique Pena Nieto – including opening up key sectors such as telecommunications and education to more competition – are promising developments. However we will wait to see how these proposals are enacted before believing that economic growth rates can double as promised.
So the outlook is good but we should not be overconfident. Any movement in the US economy could affect us significantly. Mexico has based its growth on the relationship with the US and this is what has stalled internal development that achieves independence from foreign markets. While Mexico has been highlighted in recent years as an emerging economy with great potential, this has not been reflected in high rates of growth for the country.
What are the top three strengths of your economy as a potential target for investors?
Mexico is blessed with a strategic geographic location, next to the biggest economy in the world, abundant natural resources and a high number of trained professionals.
What should business leaders be aware of when investing in your economy?
We have signed treaties with 43 countries, providing privileged access to US and European markets. Mexico offers legal protection to foreign investment with international agreements for promotion and reciprocal protection with more than 20 countries. The cost of skilled labour is also lower than in developed countries.
What are your major plans for your firm over the next 12 months?
We plan to double market share, by opening new offices in different states of the country and ensuring retention of talent to improve the continuity of projects, among other initiatives to enhance our service performance.
Any final thoughts?
Government strategy must be aligned to reducing our dependence on foreign economies and improving productivity, through structural reforms. Only then, will our economy reach the higher growth rates investors expect. Mexico has a strategic location, important strengths, such as economic stability, and a skilled labour force. The challenge is to align our competencies with the opportunities in key sectors.
Héctor Pérez, Director at Grant Thornton International.