Director General, Interpuerto Monterrey
It has been a great year. Many companies are looking for a space where they can start their facilities—and four new companies have signed on in one year. Two are starting production and two are in the process of construction. We have advanced and see dynamism in the economy. The opening of the first fire station in Interpuerto Monterrey was recently announced and will serve the companies within Interpuerto Monterrey, the municipality of Salinas Victoria and the nearby municipalities. The most active industries are automotive, food, and logistics. Despite the US elections, companies are still investing in Mexico because we have a great labor force, competitive pricing, and great logistics for exporting to North America, Europe, and Asia. We now have nine installed companies and over 300,000sqm of warehouse facilities from Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the US; the impact is starting to be more evident. There is some nervousness regarding relations with the US. But an updated NAFTA can be positive, since Mexico and the US are not only trading partners, but production partners.
Chief Managing Director, Citius Capital
I was working for a US stockbroker, Mutual of New York, which suddenly decided to close operations in Mexico after September 11. After an informal conversation with an old friend, Dario Villarreal, we decided to start our own business. Since then, our goal has been to serve corporations in real estate services and construction advisory. The only players in the market were franchises from global firms, and there was a niche for non-global platforms in order to deliver more personalized services to the industry. Between 2009 and 2011, we faced security issues in northern Mexico; hence, a number of companies decided not to open up operations, and suddenly our business went south. At the same time, there was a huge boom in automotive in central Mexico due to Japanese investments. Therefore, we started visiting Japan in 2011. Now, we go there two or three times a year, and 40% of our client base is Japanese.
Director General, Luis Gutiérrez Guajardo
We started off in 1996. Before 2008, we were part of a merger between the two largest industrial real estate companies, Prologis and AMB. Both companies have similar strategies worldwide; hence, there was a great deal of synergy created through the merger in Mexico, which was a success. Our primary focus was investors coming to Mexico who needed industrial space. Leases in Mexico are dollar-denominated, and they had good arbitrage to American valuations; therefore, it seemed attractive to take advantage of that opportunity. Prologis focused on investing in the manufacturing market along the border. The border was an active region with many foreign companies taking advantage of the location close to the US. In addition, FTAs have been a factor and facilitator, and have helped us expand and invest in that sector. After 20 years, we have one of the largest real estate portfolios in Mexico and the company has expanded geographically. We have two strategies. One is related to logistics and the other manufacturing.
General Director, U-Storage
Our background has always been real estate related, and we have done a number of projects in residential real estate and title insurance. Around 2001, we started to see the self-storage trend as an asset class in the US, and so we looked back to Mexico, especially Mexico City, and began to understand what real estate assets did not yet exist. Self-storage was totally non-existent in Mexico. We also saw that housing has to get smaller if you want to get people to live in more downtown urban areas. That typically happens with much smaller units and smaller housing. We saw that the closer that you get to the urban areas, the more permanent demand you are able to achieve. This is a real estate-driven business, and you want to try and get your hands on the best piece of real estate you can. The value generation was going to be much better in centralized areas. To do that, we had to go vertical.
MEXICO - Agriculture
General Secretary, National Food and Commerce Union (SNAC)