The Business Year

Alberto de la Fuente

MEXICO - Economy

Alberto de la Fuente

President, Executive Council of Global Enterprises (CEEG)

Bio

Alberto de la Fuente is currently the President of CEEG as well as President & CEO of Shell Mexico. He has extensive professional experience, both in the private and public sectors. In the Mexican public sector, he worked in the Office of the President, the Secretary of Energy, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He joined Shell in 2006 as a marketing manager with North West Shell Gas in Australia and was Shell business representative and advisor at Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG in Dubai from 2008-2012. He was the leader of the Energy Group within the British Chamber, as well as the founder & president of the Mexican Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (AMEXHI) from 2016-2020. De la Fuente has a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from ITAM, a master’s in economics and history from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales.

Given that most of CEEG's member companies have operations around the world, they are able to provide first-hand knowledge and expertise that can contribute to the development and growth of the country.

Can you tell us more about your vision as President of CEEG?

CEEG is currently in a period of self-reflection as an organization. We are going through a process of understanding where we are at, what the current landscape looks like, what we need to move forward, and which areas we have to focus more on. It is an incredibly enriching process, not only on a personal level but also from an executive committee level. There are four areas in which we see ourselves playing a key role, which differentiate us from other business organizations, not only because of the multinational dimension of our companies, but also because of the diversity of sectors represented within CEEG. These areas are investment strengthening, international experience, innovation, and our adherence to values and codes of ethics. We constantly work on strengthening investment, particularly in strategic sectors. CEEG companies contribute around 40% of all FDI in Mexico, so we are a key actor in terms of investment, and that is an area in which we continue to see ourselves as important partners. We are also eager to share our international and general experience in terms of best practices with the public and private sectors. One thing that makes us different from other organizations is that our companies are constantly betting on and investing in innovation. We keep our commitment to values and principles that are extremely important to us all: democracy, diversity, ethics, integrity, free trade, and competition. We are always advocating for these principles because that will make Mexico stronger. The fact that we gather 56 multinational companies, with experience around the world and the opportunity to bring best practices to Mexico puts us in a unique position to contribute to the development and growth of the country.

What could be done to further promote investment by global companies in Mexico?

Ultimately, what we must continue to work on is to maintain, improve, and strengthen confidence in Mexico. Building trust is extremely important for companies to continue bringing investment to the country, and this must necessarily go through effective rule of law policies that contribute to a thriving business environment and longer-term investment decisions. Investors value transparent rules, fair competition, decisive actions against corruption as well as public safety, and Mexico should reinforce its actions if we want to continue bringing investment, jobs, and wellbeing to Mexico. As multinational companies, we pride ourselves on the strong governance of our companies. When we decide to invest, we look for countries that also provide us with that strong governance framework. Mexico’s commitment to being a country with a sustainable economy is another important pillar. CEEG’s companies have committed to net zero emissions in the future, as we are convinced of the need to moderate the impact of climate change and continue to work to protect the environment. Other important issues that we will continue to work in are inclusion and diversity. The more Mexico advances in this agenda, the more attractive it will be for investment. Finally, in the long term we aim at making Mexico a much more innovative country in sectors like health, education, energy, infrastructure development, e-commerce, science, and technology. For us, it is crucial to reduce the digital divide and improve the quality of education. We need more qualified talent in our companies.

What are the biggest challenges facing Mexico?

There are three great challenges ahead for Mexico. The first is to highlight the competitive advantages of Mexico to be a more attractive country for investment. Second, investors must be given the feeling of being comfortable and confident in Mexico, and that has to do with the rule of law. Finally, we need to create a long-term vision as a country, where the public sector, NGOs, and the private sector, in general, can participate and do their part to build the prosperous and fair country we all want.

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