Within the framework of the institutional visit that the Government of the Principality of Asturias made to Mexico and Colombia between 23rd and 28th April 2017, a packed schedule of meetings and promotional activities was organised to share the opportunities that Asturias has to offer companies in both countries. The most notable act took place in Mexico D.F. on Thursday, 27th April, in Hotel Presidente Intercontinental Polanco; a corporate forum entitled “Bilateral relationship between Mexico-Asturias: Success stories and investment opportunities”.
The conference, which aimed to show potential investors the capacities of Asturias, was opened by Mr Manuel Llaca, Vice-President of the COMCE Mexico-Spain Corporate Committee, Mr Jorge A. Mariné Brandi, the Economic and Commercial Adviser of the Economic and Commercial Office at Mexico D.F., Mr Aurelio González, Representative of the Asturian Centre of Mexico D.F. and Mr Francisco Blanco Ángel, Employment, Industry and Tourism Regional Minister of the Principality of Asturias. The attendees included over 80 representatives from Mexican companies and institutions from the corporate sphere, as well as numerous representatives from Asturian companies and members of the institutional delegation.
Existing support platforms that promote the expansion of Mexican companies were reviewed at the forum, and a round table event was held, with participation from Asturian companies from the Metal & Energy, Advanced Manufacturing – Industry 4.0 – and Agro-food sectors, among which were Asturian-founded companies based in Mexico. For example, Mr José Miguel Fernández, the Administrator of Aguas de Fuensanta – a company recently acquired by Mexican investors – explained their project, consisting in a partnership between two entrepreneurs to export gourmet products produced in Asturias to the Mexican market. In turn, the Asturias for Foodies consortium, formed by Sidra Trabanco, Conservas Agromar and Queso Rebollín, represented by Mrs Begoña Medio, reiterated the possibilities that were available, faced with the challenge of introducing their products into the Mexican market. Mrs María Cardín Blanco, the Marketing Director of the El Gaitero Group, which has been exporting to Mexico for the past 127 years, accounted its corporate history, from the very outset linked to Mexico, and also explained its new challenges, which entail exposing Mexican consumers to its most innovative products. The Regional Director for Europe and Latin America of Thyssenkrupp Airport Systems, Mr Francisco Arqueros, showed attendees the advantages of Asturias as an investment destination, ensuring quality products within the framework of a competitive region with highly qualified human resources. In turn, Mr Joaquín García Rico, the CEO of the TSK Group, also shared his positive vision as an Asturian engineering company, established in Mexico for the past 6 years and which operates in the energy sector. He also described the projects that are currently being developed and gave a positive outlook on future contracts in the country. In the name of the ITMA+Prodintec Alliance, its CEO Mr Iñigo Felgueroso took the floor to frame Asturias as an investment destination. He spoke of the capacities of both Technology Centres, principally related to additive manufacturing, and the Steel Hub (pilot plants for the simulation of the entire steel making process). Mr Pablo Martín Rodríguez, President of the Izertis Group, highlighted the importance of bilateral relationships between the Mexican and Asturian markets, and described the qualities that make Asturias an attractive region for corporate investment. Meanwhile, Mr Álvaro Villanueva, the CEO of the Intermark Group, described the advantage that the University of Oviedo offers to companies established in Asturias, with the supply of a large number of highly qualified professionals, as well as the existence of an enviable setting both for living and working.
The Forum ended with a speech by Mr Pedro Luís Fernández Pérez, President of the Asturias Federation of Employers (FADE), who presented Asturias as a great opportunity for Mexico, and who thanked all the entrepreneurs and Asturian-Mexican executives for their support for initiatives linked to the region.