Editorial. Albert Zapanta. President & CEO

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3 EDITORIAL COUNCIL UNITED STATES - MEXICO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Albert C. Zapanta, President & CEO, Binational Headquarters; Francisco López Espinoza, CEO, MULTICOLOR Industria Gráfica; Eric Rojo, Vice-President/Mexico Liaison; Joseph R. Chapa, Vice-President, International Trade Development Centers; Gerardo Funes, Vice-President of Communications; Cecilia López, Publishing Manager; Alberto García- Jurado, Director Cultural of Effectiveness Center; Jill Martínez, publisher, and Francisco López Rivera, General Manager of MULTICOLOR Industria Gráfica. PROMEXE S ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL Rafael López Rivera Francisco López Espinoza Francisco López Rivera PUBLISHING COORDINATORS Executive Director Rafael López Rivera Vice-President of Communications Gerardo Funes Publishing Manager Cecilia López CONCEPT & MAGAZINE DESIGN Editorial Coordinator Yolanda Ivette Castillo Vázquez Graphic Designer Areli Jeanette Sayas Hernández EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Alejandro Ramos Sergio Ponce Blanca Berthier Nicandro Ortiz Eduardo Bialostozky Marlen Marroquin Elba Hentschel Anja Miroslaw PRINTED Cover photography by FONATUR José Antonio Pérez Bravo Nani. Rivadeneyra, Treviño & De Campo, S.C. Scott Sneckenberger Partner - Plante & Moran, PLLC Alejandro A. Rodriguez Country Manager - México Plante & Moran, PLLC. Dr. Itzam de Gortari CEO - TechBA Seattle For advertising inquiries, contact: Rafael López Executive Director Gerardo Funes Vice-President of Communications Cecilia López Publishing Manager ALLIANCE is a quarterly publication of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Promotora Mexicana de Ediciones S.A. de C.V., for the binational enterprise sector. Mexico office: Av. Jose Maria Chavez No. 3408, Ciudad Industrial; Aguascalientes, Ags., Mexico (www.promexe.com) United States office: United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, 5510 Cherokee Ave. Ste. 120, Alexandria, VA Mailing address: P.O. Box 14414, Washington, D.C Printed by Multicolor Industria Grafica, S.A. de C.V. Av. Jose Maria Chavez No. 3408, Ciudad Industrial; Aguascalientes, Ags., Mex. Specifications: Total production; 2,000 units, covers: couche paper 135 grs. Varnish UV, interiors: couche paper 135 grs. Impression: offset full color. The views expressed in this magazine are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, its members or supporters. Our goal is to present a broad range of perspectives on shared bilateral issues. Editorial Welcome to this edition of Alliance Magazine, a publication by the United States Mexico Chamber of Commerce, designed to inform and inspire our audience about the activities of the Chamber and the U.S. Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation. In this edition of Alliance we see how FONATUR is developing three Integrally Planned and Sustainable Development (IPSD) sites. The first, in the State of Sinaloa, located on the Pacific Coast of México, will be called Playa Espiritu. This development will have a total of 43,981 accommodation units, 11,614 hotel rooms, and 15,882 residential houses. The second site is called Costacampo, located in the state of Nayarit in Lima de Abajo, approximately 29 milles north from Litibú and 37 miles from Puerto Vallarta. The benefits expected from this development, through 2017, are to generate 7,354 direct jobs, 16,877 indirect jobs, guarantee an annual inflow of 523,000 tourists, count on a private investment of $1,447 million and a public investment of $128 million to benefit the population in the region. Finally, the last site is Marina Cozumel, located in the beautiful State of Quintana Roo, only less than two miles from the center of Cozumel. This destination s main attraction will be a marine with capacity for 333 boats, 15 to 60 feet long. Also in this edition, we are pleased to present contributions by Tony Jimenez, President and CEO of MicroTech, who has written a piece on the future of cloud computing and the enormous potential for growth that the industry has in Latin America. We would also like to thank Enrique Esparza, President, Co-Prodution International, for his article on Manufacturing Options: China vs Mexico; Dr. Itzam De Gortari, for insight on Technology in Mexico and its application in the U.S and Programa de Aceleracion de Empresas Tecnologicas/ foreign trade; and Scott Sneckenberger, Partner Global Services at Plante & Moran and Alejandro A. Rodriguez, Country Manager México Plante & Moran, PLLC., for their article, Mergers and Acquisitions in Mexico Reducing Risk and Adding Value through Due Diligence. The Chamber hosted its Annual Binational Meeting and Awards Gala Dinner in México City on November 30-December 1. This conference, entitled U.S. Mexico Challenges and Opportunities for 2012, addressed many of major issues that will be facing both of our countries in this coming year. The gala dinner was a huge success, with awards being presented to Genaro García Luna, Mexico s Secretary of Public Security, and Rodolfo López Negrete, Chief Operating Officer, Mexico Tourism Board. Thank you to everyone who helped put this publication together. We hope you enjoy this edition of Alliance Magazine. We look forward to seeing you on April as we host our Annual Conference, Good Neighbor Awards, and Binational Board of Directors Meeting in Washington D.C. Albert Zapanta President & CEO 1

4 CHAPTER OFFICES OFICINAS DEL CAPÍTULO OF INTEREST DE INTERÉS BINATIONAL EVENT EVENTO BINACIONAL MEMBERS CORNER ESPACIO DEL MIEMBRO BRIEFS BREVES 18 THE COVER ARTÍCULO DE PORTADA FONATUR, Converts Vision into Investment CHAPTER ACTIVITIES... ACTIVIDADES DEL CAPÍTULO OPINION OPINIÓN Ready or Not, Here Come the Clouds! Manufacturing Options: Mexico vs. China An Emerging Strategic Imperative in Oil & Gas The Social License to Operate MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS MIEMBRO DESTACADO 44 Kraft Foods make your day delicious Tony Jimenez, Leader of Fastest Growing Hispanic-Owned Business, Finds Success in Technology Innovation 2

5 CHAPTER OFFICES THE AMBASSADOR OF GOOD BUSINESS Al Zapanta President & CEO Tel: Fax: Gerardo Funes Vice-President of Communications Tel: x 107 Fax: Joe Chapa Vice-President International Trade Development Centers Tel: Fax: BINATIONAL HEADQUARTERS / OFICINAS GENERALES 6800 Versar Center. Ste. 450 Springfield, VA Mail to: P.O. Box 14414, Washington, D.C California Regional Chapter Los Angeles, CA Marlen Marroquin Executive Director 2450 Colorado Ave., Suite 400E Santa Monica, CA Tel: Fax: Mid-America Chapter Chicago, IL Blanca Berthier Executive Director Blue Cross Blue Shield Building 300 E. Randolph Dr. 49th floor Chicago, Il Tel: / Fax: Pacífico Chapter Guadalajara, Jal Jesús Galván Álvarez Executive Director Córdoba #2606, Col. Providencia Guadalajara, Jal. CP Tels: 52 (33) Tels: 52 (33) Aguascalientes Chapter Aguascalientes, Ags. Alejandro Vázquez Executive Director Av. Independencia 1602 Col. Fátima Aguascalientes, Ags. Tel.: (449) y (449) com.mx Southwest Chapter Dallas, TX Josie Orosco Executive Director 901 Main Street, 44th. Floor Dallas, TX Tel: Fax: Inter-American Chapter Miami, FL Elba Hentschel Executive Director 1441 Brickell Ave. Suite 1400 Miami, Florida Tel: Fax: Guanajuato Chapter León, Gto. Sergio López Ponce Executive Director Blvd. Campestre No. 1215, Int. 12 Col. Panorama León, Gto Tel: (477) Fax: (477) Golfo Chapter Veracruz, Ver. Jorge Alejandro Vega Executive Director Simon Bolivar no casi esquina con España. Despacho 3 Colonia Zaragoza C.P Veracruz, Ver. México Tel: (229) Fax: (229) International Trade Development and Assistance Center Joe Chapa Executive Director 207 Mandalay Canal Irving, TX Tel: Pacific Northwest Chapter Seattle, WA Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar President S.E. 38th Street, #728 Bellevue, WA Tel: Puebla Chapter Puebla, Pue. Vidaur Mora Executive Director 31 Poniente No B Col. Reforma Sur Puebla, Pue Tel: (222) Fax: (222) Valle de México Chapter México, D.F. Anja Miroslaw Executive Director Av. Insurgentes Sur 1605 Torre Mural, Piso 25, Mod. 3 Col. San José Insurgentes Benito Juárez, México, D.F. Tel: (55) Fax: (55) Northeast Chapter New York, NY Alejandro Ramos Executive Director 1540 Broadway, Suite 1400 New York, NY Tel: Fax: The Woodlands - Gulf Coast Chapter Pete Garcia Executive Director Grogan s Mill Road, Ste. 530 The Woodlands, TX Las Vegas Chapter Las Vegas, NV. Carlos Olamendi President Royal Pine Ave. Las Vegas NV Tel: Fax: Mid-Atlantic Chapter Washington, D.C. Vacant Trade Representative 6800 Versar Center, Suite 450 Springfield, VA Tel: Fax: Querétaro Chapter Querétaro, Qro. Marcela Soto Executive Director Isas y Asociados Contadores Públicos Rufino Tamayo # 2 Col. Pueblo Nuevo Querétaro, Qro Tel: (442) Cancun Chapter Cancún, Q.R. Evelyn Pintado Cervera Executive Director Calle Chacá 19 Mz. 1 Sm.23, Cancún, Q.R. C.P Tel. (998) Fax (998) Noreste Chapter Monterrey, N.L. Roberto Fuerte Executive Director Av. Fundidora No Edificio Cintermex P.B. Local 114 Col. Obrera Monterrey, N.L Tel: (81) Michoacan Chapter Morelia, Mich. Nick Ortiz Presidente Melo 166-B Morelia Michoacan C.P Tel: (443) CHAPTER OFFICES / OFICINAS DEL CAPÍTULO 3

6 Technology Business Accelerator Program Technology-based businesses have great potential to create innovative products and services. In order to take advantage of this potential, the Mexican Ministry of Economy and the U.S.- Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) formed TechBA (Technology Business Accelerator Program), an organization that identifies highly innovative Mexican businesses with great promise for growth and assists them in forging international partnerships in order to successfully participate in global markets. The main objectives of TechBA are to nurture successful Mexican technology companies as they move into global markets and to facilitate their interaction with international ecosystems in order to generate sales, strategic partnerships and attract investment. TechBA was created in 2004 and currently has eight accelerators dedicated to assisting businesses with defined innovative proposals. The TechBA offices are located in regions that have developed highly dynamic ecosystems: Silicon Valley in California; Austin, Texas; Michigan; Arizona; Seattle, Washington; Montreal, Quebec; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Madrid, Spain. TechBA has increased its presence in the Pacific Northwest region with several success stories. Between 2010 and 2011, 45 Mexican technology companies have participated in the TechBA program at the Seattle office. Ten of these companies incorporated in the U.S. American Safari Cruises Launches Eighth Vessel American Safari Cruises, a division of Seattlebased InnerSea Discoveries, is adding to its fleet with the launch of Safari Endeavour which embarks on the new Baja s Bounty Adventure cruises beginning in November 2012 and cruising through April Weeklong expedition cruises sail round trip from La Paz, Mexico to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site & Biosphere Reserve. MEMBERS CORNER / ESPACIO DEL MIEMBRO With this new addition, American Safari Cruises increases its fleet to eight vessels with itineraries in southeast Alaska, the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Pacific Northwest, Mexico s Sea of Cortés and the Hawaiian Islands. American Safari Cruises specializes in upscale adventure cruises with its focus on close-up experiences at each destination, taking guests into areas that are not generally accessible to larger ships. For additional details, point your browser to 4

7 Mexican Government launches NEEC (Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas) On December 15, 2011, the Mexican government announced that, as part of its commitment to facilitate safe and secure international trade across its borders, it was launching NEEC (Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas). According to In its simplest form, NEEC is the Mexican version of the U.S. C-TPAT that is modeled after the World Customs Organization s framework for secure trade. Xtrategas, a law firm based in Mexico City, specializing in international trade, customs and tax laws (with offices at the main Mexican borders as well as in the U.S., China and Hong Kong) is one of the authorized firms to carry out NEEC certification. The program is voluntary and offers participating companies fewer inspections and faster clearances for meeting specified supply requirements at the U.S.-Mexican border. NEEC offers benefits to qualified companies. Among those are: Fast track lanes New technology, non-invasive inspections Simple and easy administration Easier customs clearance and dispatch at the border High level of confidence for all parties Rapid and efficient Major security The procedure for certification takes about fourand-a-half months during which a company must submit information about its facility and records security, financial well-being, process flowcharts, risk analysis, emergency plans, ID of workers and visitors and corporate personnel. The company must also have five years background in exports. Through the NEEC, Mexico s Tax Administration Service (SAT) and its counterpart in the U.S., Customs and Border Protection, intend to initiate a certification process involving all organizations and personnel in the supply chain. It is expected that in 2012, around 2,000 import and export companies shall be certified. Banamex USA Opens New Branches in Texas Banamex USA opened two new branches in Texas in November The Houston and San Antonio branches offer the same quality service that characterizes Banamex in Mexico as well as Banamex USA. Some of the benefits Banamex USA offers its customers are no-fees transfers between accounts and other money transfers. Customers can also make payments to their Banamex USA credit cards or change checks in either dollars or pesos at a preferential exchange rate, and are able to open a Banamex USA account at any Banamex branch in Mexico. Additionally, these branches allow customers to access their accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through ATMs. Future in Laredo and Brownsville will soon join the existing branch network in Texas and will be part of an expansion strategy that already includes the states of Arizona and California. MEMBERS CORNER / ESPACIO DEL MIEMBRO INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE MEMBERS CORNER IS PROVIDED BY MEMBER COMPANIES WHO ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT. 5

8 Public-Private Partnerships: the Key to Meeting 2012 Road Infrastructure Goals As part of the strategy to meet the objectives of the Mexico National Development Plan (NDP), the government, through the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) has built, maintained and rehabilitated the road and highway infrastructure of the country, without which, much of its economic activity would be impossible. This investment has set new records in funds allocated to infrastructure, a cumulative investment at the end of the current administration of almost $23 billion (approx. 300 billion pesos). PPPs To ensure that the standards required by the country will be met, and in order to implement the enhancements as quickly as possible and maximize the sustainability of the country, the federal government has implemented several courses of action, one of the most relevant is Public- Private Partnerships (PPPs), which, as its name implies, is a set of strategies to attract private capital investment into roads. These PPPs are essential to achieving the goals of the National Infrastructure Program (NIP) , and constitute an important tool for completing critical projects in a shorter time. SCT In order to improve continuity and strengthen the PPP program, SCT performs the following activities: Follows up the execution of works and solves construction contingencies, Supports efforts to finance concessions already awarded, Provides intensive monitoring for the bidding process, Heads up the resolution of legal and financial matters necessary to ensure the execution of works associated with existing concessions and secures its funding, Improves the preparation of new projects and schedules related biddings. In this way, the SCT demonstrates its strong commitment ensuring a sustainable, safe and state of the art intermodal Mexican transportation system. SCT models The three models designed by the SCT are: Concessions Provision of Project Services (PPS) and Use of Assets Concessions are a structure that establishes an association between the SCT and a private company to design, finance, construct, maintain and operate a road for terms of 15 to 30 years. Currently there are 27 projects in varying stages of development using this structure (operation, construction, bidding and preparation). The Project for Provision of Services or PPS is a PPP model for modernization and maintenance of toll-free roads, the service is provided by private companies in exchange for periodic quarterly payments. Currently, there are seven PPS projects in different stages of development (preparation, bidding, construction and operation). Use of Assets is designed to unincorporate highway assets belonging to the National Infrastructure Fund (FONADIN). These packages of assets are contracted to the private sector in exchange for a fee paid to FONADIN. There are 13 packages of asset utilization under different development stages (preparation, bidding, construction and operation) Budgetary Public Works and Non-Budgetary Public Works Complementary to these three models, the SCT has also designed two programs related to PPPs to boost the country s roads: non-budgetary Public Works and works related to already existing concessions. Non-Budgetary Public Works (OPNP) are performed with 6

9 PPP Projects Currently Underway CONCEPT CONCESSIONS -operational -construction -awarded -bidding -preparation No. Projects Length (mi) Investments (billions of USD) $4, $1, $ $ $ $1, FONADIN resources so they do not come from the Federation s Expenditure Budget, and once work completed, it will be licensed to the National Works and Public Services Bank (BANOBRAS). Works related to existing concessions are additional works linked to sections of existing concessions. PPS -operational -construction -awarded $1, $ $ $ In order to improve continuity and strengthen the PPP program, SCT performs the following activities: USE OF ASSETS -operational -construction -awarded -preparation NON-BUDGETARY PUBLIC WORKS -operational -construction -bidding -preparation WORKS RELATED TO EXISTING CONCESSIONS -awarded -construction -preparation -deferred TOTAL , $1, $33.85 $ $1, $ $ $2, $ $ $72.87 $ $1, $ , $13, As of January 6, Source: SCT / Secretary for Infrastructure Follows up the execution of works and solves construction contingencies, Supports efforts to finance concessions already awarded, Provides intensive monitoring for the bidding process, Leads up legal and financial engineering necessary to ensure the execution of works associated to existing concessions and secures its funding, Improves the preparation of new projects and schedules related biddings. In this way, the SCT shows its commitment towards structuring the Mexican transportation system within a sustainable, intermodal, safe and state of the art context. Main PPP Projects: APP S IN OPERATION Durango - Mazatlan highway Lenght: km Rio Bravo - Donna international bridge Lenght: 4.6 km Reynosa - Anzalduas international bridge Lenght: 10.0 km APP S IN PROCESS Avila Camacho - Tihuatlán highway Lenght: 56.4 km Nuevo Necaxa - Avila Camacho highway Lenght: 36.6 km San Luis Rio Colorado International Bridge Length: 0.4 km Tepic - Villa Union highway Lenght: km Perote Xalapa bypass Lenght: 59.7 km Inversión: 4,133.7 mdp Termina: Noviembre 2012 Irapuato - La Piedad highway Lenght: 75.0 km Guadalajara - Colima highway Lenght: 34.0 km Queretaro - Irapuato highway Lenght: 93.0 km Nueva Italia - Apatzingan highway Lenght: 31.7 km Ejutla - Puerto Escondido highway Lenght: km Inversión: 4,646.3 mdp Mexico City s North Arc bypass Lenght: km Arriaga - Ocozocoautla highway Lenght: 93.0 km OF INTEREST / DE INTERÉS Source: SCT / Secretary for Infrastructure 7

10 La importancia de implementar efectivas políticas anticorrupción en las empresas OF INTEREST / DE INTERÉS Ganar o mantener un contrato lucrativo, obtener beneficios personales o tener influencia política, aunado a la existencia de un ordenamiento jurídico inadecuado a la realidad nacional, la inoperancia de las instituciones públicas así como la existencia generalizada de una cultura de la ilegalidad son sólo algunas de las causas de este mal llamado corrupción. La corrupción es un problema que afecta gravemente la credibilidad de las instituciones, desestabiliza la competitividad económica y constituye un factor de desintegración social. Es por esto que muchos países ya han puesto en marcha medidas para combatir este añejo problema. De ello son conscientes los Gobiernos de los países más industrializados por lo que al día de hoy ya existen leyes y acciones que faciliten la erradicación de este problema. La lucha contra la corrupción es tal vez uno de los campos en los cuales la acción colectiva de los Estados y las empresas no sólo es conveniente, sino absolutamente necesaria. Las empresas extranjeras con actividades en México afrontan la tentación y riesgo de realizar pagos indebidos a funcionarios de gobierno con el fin de obtener ciertos beneficios o prerrogativas relacionadas con sus actividades comerciales, situación prohibida por distintas leyes y jurisdicciones a nivel internacional, como por ejemplo el Foreign Corrupt Practices Act de los Estados Unidos (FCPA). La mayoría de dichas jurisdicciones, como es el caso de los Estados Unidos criminalizan y castigan los actos de corrupción y soborno cometidos en el extranjero. En los últimos años en los Estados Unidos, las sanciones impuestas por casos de corrupción y soborno superaron los mil millones de dólares. Adicionalmente a la Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), el Reino Unido recientemente aprobó la llamada Bribery Act la cual fue diseñada para adaptar la legislación británica a las normas internacionales contra la corrupción. Esta ley considera como delito, dar o recibir sobornos e introduce el concepto de delito corporativo por no evitar la práctica del soborno. Según el índice de Percepción de Corrupción del año 2011, México ocupa la nada prestigiada posición 100 de entre 182 naciones. Es por eso que los dueños, consejos de administración y directivos de empresas mexicanas no pueden y no deben postergar la implementación de políticas anticorrupción al interior de las mismas debido a la creciente ejecución de medidas internacionales por parte de las empresas multinacionales así como la creación de leyes en contra de la corrupción por parte de los países industrializados las cuales incluyen fuertes sanciones internacionales en contra de las empresas y personas que buscan establecer una competencia comercial leal. La implementación de códigos de conducta, la práctica de auditorías, y la imposición de fuertes sanciones son sólo algunas de las medidas con las que se puede combatir la práctica de actos de corrupción en las empresas. Las empresas en México deben actuar de inmediato para diseñar e implementar las políticas anticorrupción acordes a las legislaciones internacionales, de igual forma deberán destinar parte de sus recursos económicos, humanos y legales primero para contribuir al cambio en la forma de hacer negocios en México y con esto no perder competitividad internacional, ya que para hacer negocios de manera global es necesario demostrar solidez moral, legal y corporativa acorde a las necesidades y estándares internacionales. 8 Provided by: José Antonio Pérez Bravo Nani. Rivadeneyra, Treviño & De Campo, S.C.

11 OF INTEREST / DE INTERÉS 9

12 La USMCOC en el camino de la competitividad En 2011, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente y la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo Industrial reconocieron y aceptaron el proyecto del Centro de Producción más Limpia del Bajío soportado por la USMCOC como uno de los 43 Centros Nacionales de Producción más Limpia a nivel mundial dentro de la Red Global de Producción más Limpia y Recursos Eficientes. Provided by: Sergio Ponce, Excecutive Director - USMCOC Guanajuato chapter. Technology: A Main Component for Economic Development OF INTEREST / DE INTERÉS Technology within the business world provides a direct competitive advantage; conversely, it can also create a barrier to entering new areas of business and markets. Products with high technology components are difficult to replicate, require large investment in research and development (R&D) and have long cycles of production but technology does need to be a foundation for economic development for many countries. The eight countries with the highest spending on R&D technology relative to GDP are Israel (4.53 percent), Sweden (3.73 percent), Finland (3.45 percent), Japan (3.39 percent), South Korea (3.23 percent), Switzerland (2.9 percent), Iceland (2.78 percent) and United States (2.62 percent). Technology cannot be viewed as narrowly as devices such as computers and mobile phones; rather, it must be viewed in the broader context of economic development. Technology as a national strategy is more complex, must be given special attention in education, tax and labor policies, and private investment. The human resources required for technology-intensive industries are costly because they call for more years of education, higher degree of specialization and constant training. In addition, academic programs are not always aligned to industry needs and private companies often invest the first few years after hiring in training their personnel. National policies, especially in developing countries, often do not include strategies for technological advances. Over the long run, advances in technology and productivity lead to higher wages for the workforce as a whole. Technology can also lead to more effective and cleaner production lines, which is not necessarily the case when policies address only tax and labor regulations to encourage the use of technology in companies. Investment in R&D is risky. Private investment and financial institutions do not necessarily invest in highly innovative or long term projects with a large component of R&D, more risks and longer time to see returns, therefore venture capital typically funds such projects. While Mexico spent only 0.04 percent of GDP in its venture capital last year, the U.S. venture capitalists invested $16.7 billion in 2,497 start-ups and accounted for 21 percent of U.S. GDP. In order to effectively incorporate technology as a main driver for economic development, Mexican businesses must foster relationships between educational institutions and industry to grow the necessary human resources, and must educate politicians and financial institutions about developing long term strategies and encouraging more investment in innovation. 10 Provided by: Dr. Itzam de Gortari CEO - TechBA Seattle

13 Mergers and Acquisitions in Mexico Reducing Risk and Adding Value through Due Diligence Most companies contemplating a merger or acquisition recognize that due diligence is a best practice. What s odd, then, is the number of organizations that move forward with either no due diligence or due diligence that s conducted too quickly or too narrowly. Conducting a thorough, multidisciplinary due diligence process is the only way to know you re getting what you re paying for and to significantly reduce any unhappy surprises after a transaction. Here are just a few of the top concerns that should be part of the due diligence process when contemplating a merger or acquisition opportunity in Mexico. IMMEX This is a consideration that won t be found on any balance sheet. IMMEX (also or formerly known as maquiladora) is a program where, if you meet certain criteria and track components appropriately, you don t have to pay the 16 percent Mexican value-added tax (VAT) on the temporary importation of equipment and materials. It can also allow participants to defer or eliminate import duties. If you run afoul of the rules, however, there are significant penalties (up to 400 percent of the value of the item in question, suspension of the company s import/export license, etc.). Let s say you re importing 12 components used to manufacturing one export. You have to track everything associated with each finished product, including scrap and any items that may become obsolete. The rules get very complex, very quickly. We ve had clients that ended up with significant exposures on the customs side that either neglected to conduct due diligence altogether or conduced very limited due diligence and later encountered a very unhappy surprise. VAT/IETU Most companies understand basic Mexican income tax; however, they tend to miss the intricacies of the IETU (Mexico s version of the dreaded alternative minimum tax) and the rules related to VAT. Although we re called in after a transaction to assist with many unforeseen occurrences, we almost always find issues many of which are significant related to VAT and IETU. For example, we recently worked with a company that was attempting to recoup $1 million of VAT from the Mexican government. The government had essentially blacklisted the company, who had no plan in place to get that money back. This problem was caused by incorrect tax filings and resulted in a receivable that, in our opinion, was well overstated and something that we discovered and addressed during the due diligence process. Labor The United States is one of the few countries that allows atwill employment. Most, including Mexico, have labor laws that favor employees and can require significant payment upon their termination. In Mexico, whenever an employee is terminated, he/she may be entitled to a significant severance package typically three months pay plus 20 days pay per year of service. In the event of a merger or acquisition, it s critical to have a strategy in place for a smooth transition to avoid or manage this liability. In Conclusion In our experience, approximately one-third of due diligence investigations uncover serious problems potential deal breakers. Of those, approximately half fail to complete the merger/acquisition process. It s crucial therefore, that organizations contemplating a merger or acquisition not only conduct due diligence but consider all aspects of it strategic, financial, operational, IT, and human capital to assure a successful transaction. Provided by: Scott Sneckenberger / Partner - Plante & Moran, PLLC Alejandro A. Rodriguez / Country Manager - México Plante & Moran, PLLC. OF INTEREST / DE INTERÉS 11

14 As a result, the Single Window for Trade reduces transaction costs to importers and exporters by 20%. The Single Window for Trade process consists in only four steps. First, all the importers, exporters, companies or people interested in trade have to fill out an electronic form on the Single Window for Trade website (www. ventanillaunica.gob.mx), which is easy to follow because the program will properly guide the user. Second the information is submitted through the internet to the relevant government agencies for its analysis and approval. Hence, customs can have the information in advance in order to conduct a risk analysis. BRI EFS BRIEFS / BREVES Mexico Enhances Trade Facilitation through a Single Window Mexico has recently launched an innovative Single Window for Trade (Ventanilla Única) to significantly facilitate trade with its main trading partners and the rest of the world. Promoting trade is not just about reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers, but also about moving increasing volumes of imported and exported goods through the borders faster. This is why Mexico has rapidly adapted new technologies and better regulations to make trade more agile and easier, improving its global competitiveness. In order to make trade with other countries more efficient, Mexico has invested about $700 million to implement the Single Window for Trade. This smart tool allows exporters and importers to meet government requirements on trade by instantly sending relevant information such as type of product, volume, destination, and mode of transportation at one time. By using this tool, Mexican exporters and importers receive tangible benefits such as: low costs and less time in the application process; the information is captured only one time; importers, exporters and companies can log on at any time in any place around the world; the logistics process is faster; the information is secure; and the process is more transparent. The Single Window for Trade replaces the need for making 165 proceedings and submitting 40 documents and more than 200 different pieces of data, such as importing or exporting licenses, certifications of origin for products, insurance to protect the merchandise, invoices, and shipping verification orders, creating a lot of paper work. In addition, the agencies increased attendance capacity from 1,100 to 9,900 applications in a month. Third after the trade operation has been approved by the agencies, the appropriate taxes are calculated and subsequently collected from a bank account that the Mexican importer / exporter might need to provide. Fourth, once the merchandise arrives to the crossing point the carrier must present a summary of the shipping transaction to the customs verifier at the customs facility. The customs official will check electronically, with a simple touch, all the information provided by the carrier through a portable digital device in order to allow the merchandise to continue its journey. It is important to note that to be able to use the Single Window for Trade, the users need to have a valid electronic advanced signature (FIEL) which is easy to obtain in the Tax Administration Office (SAT). With this important improvement, Mexico will be able to climb to 32nd place in the sub-index Border Trade of the World Bank s Doing Business Report, climbing 26 places. The Single Window for Trade expedites Mexico s trade operations by sharing information among the interconnected government agencies involved in trade and the customs facilities throughout the country. This results in better services provided to exporters and importers that everyday move more than $1.6 billion in traded goods across the border. 12 Source: NAFTA Works. January 2012* Volume 17, Issue 1

15 USMCOC Introduces Newest Chapter: The Woodlands-Gulf Coast Chapter in Texas U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC) took another step in the growth of the organization and expansion of its national presence. One of the regions previously underserved in the Chamber s network was the South-Central United States. The creation of the new chapter fortifies efforts to continue increasing business with Mexico. On December 7, 2011, USMCOC held a joint press conference with The Greater Houston Partnership to officially launch the new chapter which will cover the U.S. Gulf Coast from the Rio Grande Valley north through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other areas of Texas including the cities of Houston, Austin and San Antonio. At the press conference, attended by Al Zapanta, Chamber CEO; Ronda Butler-Harkey, chapter president; and Julie Charros-Betancor, chapter vice president. Jeff Moseley, president /CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership stated, The Greater Houston Partnership is pleased to open the doors to the new chapter. The USMCOC represents an advantage for Houston businesses that are interested in increasing their income and creating employment as a result trade with Mexico. Pete Garcia, the Chapter s executive director noted, In particular, The Woodlands and the Gulf Coast region are in a position to grow along with Mexico as global competitors in the energy sector. In addition to energy, the region also offers a major medical center, tourism, prestigious universities, regional investment centers, great shopping, is a great place to do business and live, and is a hub for the world s largest airline, thus it is imperative to continue establishing and growing relations between our two countries. We aspire to serve as a catalyst for new relations, solutions and investments. Our primary mission is to help [members] connect with Mexico. Our role is to help our members in seeking to maximize revenues in trade between our countries, Garcia added. The press conference was covered by numerous local and Mexican media, receiving coverage by Univision, KTRK - ABC Channel 13, Houston Chronicle, Houston Business Journal, Telemundo, KHUF-Radio. The founding members of the new chapter are Amegy Bank, ExxonMobil, Lucia Oaks, Memorial Hermann Hospitals, MFR P.C., OBT-Orgain Bell & Tucker, LLP, Rice University, The Woodlands Development Co., United Airlines, Univision, and the Consulate General of Mexico. The membership has since added BlackForest Ventures, Oasis Bank, Greenspoint District, Interbrands, Crown Point Regional Center, R & MGlobal Advisors, Port Isabel Offshore, Uptown Realty, CallFast Call Centers, State Farm Insurance, Royal Bank of Canada and Gonzalez Distribution, with others pending. Chapter contact information: Grogan s Mill Rd., Suite 530, The Woodlands, Texas usmcocgc.org or call (713) Left to right: Ronda Butler-Harkey attorney with OBT and president of the Chapter; Dan Leverett, (bi-national member) V.P. Commercial at The Woodlands Development Co. and member of the Strategy Committee; Pete C. Garcia, executive director of the new chapter; Al Zapanta, CEO USMCOC; Craig Richard, GHP s Chief Economic Development Officer; Julie Charros-Betancor, director of sales at Latin America The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center. 13

16 Fall 2011 Binational Meeting & Award Gala Dinner The United States México Chamber of Commerce hosted its fall Binational Meeting & Award Gala Dinner November 30 through December 1. The theme for the meeting was U.S. México Challenges and Opportunities The conference brought together over one hundred business executives and government officials. CONFERENCE The keynote address was presented by Juan de Dios Barba, president of México City s Economic and Social Council. His comments focused on the importance of education and creating jobs for the entire population, emphasizing the need to improve education levels in lower income communities so that they are not left behind in the 21st Century economy. His office also distributed a book on México City called, México City, A Knowledge Economy. United States Ambassador to Mexico, Earl Anthony Wayne with México s Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo and Al Zapanta, President and CEO of the USMCOC BINATIONAL EVENT / EVENTO BINACIONAL RECEPTION The kickoff to the conference began with the traditional welcome reception at the newly appointed United States Ambassador Anthony Wayne s residence. The ambassador greeted and addressed the attendees, noting the economic importance of the U.S.- México relationship. Making a surprise visit to the reception was México s Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo, who also addressed the audience about the importance of the United States-México relationship, particularly in the area of tourism. She stated that a large increase in American tourism to Mexico was imperative in order for México to achieve its goal of becoming one of the top five tourist destinations in the coming years. John Donoghue, President & CEO, National Fiber Networks de México 14

17 Panel: Innovation & Information Technology and the Use of Social Media The keynote speaker for this panel was Claudia Ivette García, Director General of Commerce and Digital Economy, México s Secretariat of the Economy. Also on this panel were Bruno Rangel, Director of Finance, Grupo Salinas; John Farrell, President, Google México; Marcos Perez Oyamburu, Director, Product Development, Ford de México; Carlos Funes, Vice President for México & Central America at Softek; and John Donoghue, President and CEO, National Fiber Networks de México. Marcos Perez Oyamburu, Ford de México; Carlos Funes, Softek; John Farrell, Google de México; and John Donoghue, National Fiber Networks de México. Federico Gutierrez, Banobras and Richard Downie, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Panel: Transportation, Logistics & Infrastructure Fausto Barajas, Undersectretary of Infrastructure, Mexico s Ministry of Transportation and Communications This topic was presented by Fausto Barajas, Office of Mexico s Secretary of Transportation and Communication (SCT). Additional speakers: Federico Gutierrez, deputy director of Roads, Railroads and Urban Transportation, Banobras; Edgar Guillaumin, vice president of Right of Way Protection and Corporate Affairs, Kansas City Southern de México; and Richard Downie, director, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Héctor Rangel, NAFIN/Bancomext; Federico Gutierrez, Banobras; Sergio R. Kurczyn Banuelos, Banamex. Panel: Trade, Commerce, & Finance The third roundtable highlighted the topics of trade, commerce and finance. Principal speaker for this panel was Eduardo Ramos, Assistant Secretary for Trade, Mexico s Secretary of Economy (SE). Also on the roundtable were Héctor Rangel, Director General for NAFIN/Bancomext; Sergio R. Kurczyn Bañuelos Director General, Banamex; and Carlos Galves, vice president, CONCANACO. BINATIONAL EVENT / EVENTO BINACIONAL 15

18 Panel: Preparing for the 2012 Presidential Election The final roundtable, Preparing for the 2012 Presidential Election, featured Gustavo Madero, president, National Action Party (PAN); Jesus Zambrano, president of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); and Heriberto Galindo, Adjunct Secretary General, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The three party leaders spoke passionately, but respectfully, about the issues México is currently facing, and how their respective parties would work to resolve problems should they win the Presidential election. José García Torres, President USMCOC; Jesus Zambrano, PRD; Al Zapanta, USMCOC; Gustavo Madero, PAN; Ildefonso Guajardo, PRI. GALA To close out the binational meeting, the Chamber sponsored its gala reception and awards dinner, always a first-rate affair. Genaro García Luna, Mexico s Secretary of Public Security and Rodolfo López Negrete, Chief Operating Officer, Mexico Tourism Board received the Buen Vecino Awards for their efforts in promoting and strengthening the relationship between the United States and México. In his acceptance speech, Lopez Negrete echoed the words of the Secretary of Tourism by stressing the importance of the Americans to the Mexican tourism industry. Additionally, he spoke about the new campaign called México, the place you thought you knew, geared towards people who have visited tourist areas of México, but have not explored other parts of the country. Secretary García Luna emphasized the need to continue the war against the drug cartels in Mexico. He remarked that police officers and military units make less money per month than what the drug cartels offer them for one day of their collaboration as a reason behind the ever present corruption, which makes this war more difficult to win. Additionally, he stressed the need to create jobs in México as a way of dissuading youth from joining the ranks of the cartels. From the reception at the Ambassador s residence to the informative conference and the Awards Gala Dinner, the Binational Meeting & Award Gala Dinner 2011 was a great success. We look forward to seeing you in late April at our Annual Conference and Good Neighbor Awards, Binational Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C. BINATIONAL EVENT / EVENTO BINACIONAL Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, Chief Operating Officer of México s Tourism Board speaking after receiving the Buen Vecino Award UNITED STATES-MEXICO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CÁMARA DE COMERCIO MÉXICO-ESTADOS UNIDOS USMCOC Thanks its Sponsors for Supporting the: U.S.- Mexico Economic Recovery and Stability 2011& Good Neighbor Awards Sponsors Al Zapanta presenting the Buen Vecino Award to Genaro García Luna, Mexico s Secretary for Public Security GALLÁSTEGUI & LOZANO 16

19 BINATIONAL EVENT / EVENTO BINACIONAL 17

20 18 COSTACAPOMO

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