In conjunction with a virtual trade mission to Toronto, OWIT Monterrey held a business conference program on June 22 and June 24, supported by OWIT Toronto. The event covered trending topics in the automotive and IT sectors, investment, and logistics and legal implications in Canada and Mexico.
Sandra Shaddick, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in Monterrey, kicked off the event, along with Helen Hemmingsen, President of OWIT Toronto Chapter, and Carolina Leal, President of OWIT Monterrey.
Here is a summary of the presentations:
Canadian Perspective Automotive
Speaker: Rhonda Barnett, President, AVID Manufacturing
- Canada is one of the world's top 10 producers of light vehicles. Its auto sector contributes $19 billion to GDP and directly employs over 125,000 of the 1.7 million workers in the Canadian manufacturing sector.
- Manufacturing in Canada is the second biggest sector after oil and gas, working together with the US and Mexico to be a tremendous global trading block.
- In 2017 there were just under .5 million women working in the sector
- Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) launched the We can do it campaign, with the goal of adding 100,000 women to the sector in five years. We already added about 40,000 women to the sector in 18 months.
- If the national childcare strategy committed to in the spring budget comes to fruition, providing very affordable childcare in Canada, it will mean that more women and young women can come back to work full time to high-value meaningful jobs.
- Canada was just listed in 2021 as the number one country in the world by the Best Country’s Report. Canada hit the high-water mark on so many categories because it is really balancing social and economic aspects. Canadians have a high standard of living, highly educated population, high rate of employment and high quality of life.
- Canada is leading the way on diversity and inclusion in the world.
Automotive Trends in Mexico
Speaker: Nazareth Black, CEO, Zacua Mexico
- The automotive industry has had rapid growth over the years – starting 135 years ago with the first automobile called Fardier which was a steam powered vehicle and now a self-driving, electric vehicle called Olli.
- Mexico is the 4th largest automobile exporter in the world and the 5th largest auto parts producer worldwide, exporting $80 billion per year.
- There are several trends in the automotive industry, one of the most important is mobility, which includes electric, autonomous, connected vehicles and shared vehicles. All four are being worked on in parallel, because they are complementary to each other.
- It is expected that, by 2040, 90% of the cars that circulate in the world will be electric. Mexico is working towards this same goal for the year 2050.
- There are at least 100 projects worldwide working towards creating a fully functional flying car. By 2023, hopes to build a flying car that can be sold to the public.
- The second most important trend is the supply chain, which consists of the digitization, automation, and electrification of the supply chains that generate the materials and resources to produce and assemble the vehicles.
- Brands are working on designing new options of electric vehicles that carry a high level of digitalization. Which opens door to small businesses with a high level of profile referring to technology.
- The third trend is the evolution of the user - going from very few choices to 2000+ choices when buying a car. Users are looking for convenience and different features in vehicles that are smart, modern, environmentally friendly.
- Manufacturing industry is going to continue adapting to provide new generation vehicles, autonomous, smarter, and digitalize.
The Implications of the USMCA in Mexico and Canada
Speakers: Roberto Modesto, Partner, Deloitte, and Irka Lopez, Global Trade Manager, Deloitte
- NAFTA did not have a termination date. However, USMCA will be terminated 16 years after the day of its entry into force unless all parties confirm their wishes to continue the agreement for a new term.
- Country of origin rules were strong to ensure Mexican automobiles manufactured use materials or components from US, Canada, or Mexico. Under NAFTA, 62.5% of the automobile’s components had to be manufactured in Mexico, US, or Canada. Now under USMCA, that percentage increased to 75% and should apply in the first 3 years to be considered USMCA originated.
- Automobile manufacturers have to comply with labor value content – ie. the manufacturing process of 40 to 45% of automobiles must be carried out by workers receiving a wage of US$16 per hour by 2023.
- No import or export duties can be applied to digital products.
- Certification of origin should include nine elements - the certifier of origin, the producer, the origin criteria, the certifier (who issued the certification of origin), the importer, the period cover by the certification of origin, the exporter, the description and classification of goods, authorized signature, and date of signature.
IT Trends in Mexico
Expositor: Arturo Correa, Advisor, Digital Transformation
- A plus of COVID-19 has been the acceleration of the technology industry and digitalization. Companies that were already advanced in digitalization services were one step ahead once lockdowns started around the world.
- From a cultural point of view, the pandemic meant people working from an office had to adapt to start working remotely.
- Create a plan that fits you client needs before they even realized it. Sell what your customer needs and is going to help the solve a problem.
- Form multidisciplinary work teams - not only about engineering, but also graphic design, marketing, sales, to create alliances in order to provide a better customer experience.
- Digitalize retiring people’s knowledge for future generations to have access in form of a robot or a software. Avoid loss of valuable knowledge and experience.