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MEXICO - Economy

Enrique Zorrilla

President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CanCham)

Bio

Enrique Zorrilla was appointed Executive Vice President and Country Head of Scotiabank Mexico in 2017. He was vice president of Asociación de Bancos de México (ABM). Prior to joining Scotiabank in 2013, Zorrilla worked for Banco Nacional de México, S.A. (Banamex) for 31 years. He was also a member of the Citigroup Senior Leadership Committee, a member of the board of directors of Seguros Banamex, Afore Banamex, and Crédito Familiar, and chairman of the board of Buró de Crédito and Soriban Servicios Financieros. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Universidad Iberoamericana and was honored with the Presidential Award for the Best Students of Mexico. He was also acknowledged in the Professional Excellence Category with the Dr. Agustin Reyes Ponce Award in 2011. Zorrilla also holds a certified public accounting degree from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México and an MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg School) in Chicago.

"Mexico and Canada have had a 20-year bilateral relationship with NAFTA."
CanCham in Mexico has three main focal areas: networking for its members, know-how and expertise for a more educated decision-making process; and connecting others to participants in regional sectors, industries, and more to: connecting business opportunities between Mexico and Canada in strategic industries.
What are the main opportunities for investments between Mexico and Canada?

Mining and energy play an important role in the Canadian economy. Canada is the third-largest investor in Mexico, and 40% of Canadian investment is concentrated in the mining industry. There are still many opportunities to diversify the type of Canadian companies present in Mexico, for example in technology or in terms of community relations and how training is performed. This is still a fantastic opportunity to create jobs, develop stronger and more integrated communities as a mining project is being developed and starts operating. These are the traditional kind of sectors that Canada has expertise in, and it is natural for Canadian companies to invest in those sectors in Mexico. In addition, the Canadian company Bombardier has boosted the aeronautic industry as a whole in Querétaro. Right now, we have a university there founded by Bombardier; it was originally the training department of Bombardier that eventually became a university. Canadian investment has also resulted in many positive developments. The auto parts industry, heavily concentrated in Bajío, will require a great deal of investment, since the industry is gradually evolving toward a completely different kind of vehicles, with hybrid or electric automobiles becoming the norm. The energy sector will also require trillions in investment to produce the electricity that will be required. Another new area is agriculture, in which there are many opportunities but few partnerships between Canadian and Mexican companies. About 70% of the Canadian investment comes from Ontario, and 20-25% comes from Québec.

What can be done to further incentivize investment between these two countries?

Mexico and Canada have had a 20-year bilateral relationship with NAFTA. It is important to strengthen and enhance relations between Mexico, the US, and Canada. For Mexico to attract further Canadian investment, the stability of the rule of law, the transparency of laws, and the way in which laws are applied and put in place are critical. Mexico is extraordinarily attractive to Canadian companies and investors, but it must guarantee greater legal certainty, for example, for local regulations that are in conflict with federal laws. Our vocation is North America, and economic integration is extremely important for the two countries. In that respect, we have to better understand our interests, customs, education, laws, and so on and be clear about those issues that are important for the different countries to better take advantage of the opportunities that Mexico offers.

What are the advantages of being part of CanCham?

We work with a Canadian company to get involved with the authorities or get in touch with other participants in a particular industry to better understand our geography through our committees. We have 11 committees and cover legal issues, diversity, entrepreneurship, talent, and international commerce. We also have task forces for mining, energy, and manufacturing. In that respect, we have representatives in industries that any particular Canadian company could be interested in. We promote a more educated decision-making process, providing our members with information directly from the experts in a particular industry or on a particular topic. We provide access to the experts who are actually in action and know what is happening regarding the economy, region of development, and so on. Those are the three most important elements: networking, an expert’s opinion for a more educated decision-making process, and the ability to communicate with other participants in regional sectors, industries, and more. We are enablers. CanCham is a platform, and we strive to not only be a responsible business community, but also promote trade and investment between Mexico and Canada as well as business between our members. We will celebrate our 40th anniversary, and even as a chamber, we are still young in comparison to others.

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