Commitment to Mexico Manufacturing-Despite the Political Rhetoric

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in FDI

International OEMs and Tier Ones continue to invest in Mexico manufacturing, despite much uncertainty from the new Trump administration and threats of heavy import tariffs. Amid such an environment, Mexico has shown more resilience than ever, and international companies continue to reiterate their commitment to Mexico, so they can benefit from the growth opportunities the country provides and ensure their competitive advantage in the North American export market. Henry Martin spoke with Doug Donahue, one of Entrada Group’s Principals and Vice President of Business Development, about what Mexico offers to foreign manufacturers and why many are proceeding apace despite an unclear future and outright hostility from the Trump administration.

Henry Martin:The current political climate in North America has turned the spotlight squarely on NAFTA. How could a treaty renegotiation affect Mexico manufacturing?

Doug Donahue: We certainly don’t know how NAFTA discussions will play out. But renegotiation, on its face, should not be viewed as the death knell for Mexico’s manufacturing sector. Much has changed since NAFTA’s implementation 23 years ago and updating the agreement to reflect today’s modern manufacturing realities could possibly benefit all three countries. For example, U.S., Canada and Mexico may find out that a restructured NAFTA makes their trade relationship even stronger. 

Stay on Track

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in FDI

CEO Insight Interviews Mrs. Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou, Head of HRADF

CEO Insight: What is the remit and role of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, and where does its mandate come from?

Mrs. Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou: Τhe Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund was established in 2011 with the purpose to grow the private assets transferred to it by the Greek State, in accordance with the internationally undertaken commitments and the provisions stated in the Midterm Frameworks of Fiscal Strategy.  The Fund has a mission statement to implement the Privatisation Program, to maximise value brought to the Greek State via public debt reduction, generation of direct investment that fuel economic recovery and growth and opening up of market sectors and increase competition leading to more, better and higher value products and services to users and consumers. 

We are in close cooperation with the Greek Government and along with our sole shareholder which is the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations; we promote the country’s privatisation plan, holding full responsibility to comply with existing policies. Our Asset Development Plan, which is the backbone of our remit, is recommended by the Board of Directors of the Fund, is endorsed by the Greek Government and acknowledged by our creditors and we are executing it with the certainty of optimism; that of establishing the foundation for restarting the development process in the Greek economy. The Fund is directed by a 5-member Board of Directors which has the sole responsibility for its operation. A Council of Experts comprising of 7 highly skilled and recognised professionals, as well as 2 observers with no voting rights participate into the BoD’s meetings, appointed by the member-states of the Eurozone and the European Commission. 

A Long Tradition

Written by HWF Hamburg on . Posted in FDI

As early as 1266, merchants of the Hanseatic League met at the Steelyard trading base in London to do business. By 1567, the "Right Worshipful Company of Merchant Adventurers of England" was trading cloth in Hamburg. In 1926, the British American Tobacco Co (BAT) set up a branch on the banks of the Elbe River. Today, about 10 percent of Hamburg’s exports go to Britain, with pharmaceutical goods and aircraft products topping the list. Imports from Britain mainly include crude oil and natural gas as well as petroleum products. Great Britain is a perfect market for German goods as it also provides German companies with access to other Commonwealth markets.

World meets business at the waterfront
Located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, with the Elbe River as its lifeline and the city-state of Hamburg as its heart, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (HMR) is one of the most competitive regions in Germany and Europe. The region is highly attractive for international and national companies as it combines economic momentum with a high quality of life. Export-oriented businesses benefit from the broad range of services available in the port of Hamburg.

Ever since Hamburg’s port was established more than 1,000 years ago, cosmopolitanism, open-mindedness and hospitality have been continuously nourished in Hamburg. When this emerging commercial centre joined the Hanseatic League of merchants in the 14th century, Hamburg became the economic centre of the North Sea and Baltic Sea region. Hamburg swiftly turned into a true global player and cosmopolitan city. Since then, Hamburg, the “gateway to the world”, has made it a point to keep its gates open – in both directions. Today, Hamburg is one of the most dynamic cities within the European Union and continues to attract companies, institutions and professionals from around the world. Some 250,000 citizens from 185 nations have made Hamburg their new home and currently work on the banks of the Alster Lake and the Elbe River. More than 100 consular missions represent their interests in Hamburg.

Hamburg: Great Britain’s Gateway to Europe

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in FDI

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has led to insecurity and relocation considerations in the corporate world. It is widely anticipated that companies that generate their revenue mainly within the European Union will consider relocating their business operations. Established locations such as Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris have come forward with offers to London’s financial players, and a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe are hoping for service components e.g. in the commercial sector to be migrated. At the same time, there is one city that continues to emerge in this locational competition: a city that stands out for its long-established economic relations with the UK like no other city – Hamburg. It is often said that Hamburg is the most Anglophile city in Germany, and business relations between Hamburg and Britain boast a particularly long tradition.

Hamburg values its century-long friendship with the United Kingdom and regrets the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. In the eyes of Hamburg, it is vital to ensure the UK’s greatest possible integration into the European single market also in future.

CEO Insight spoke to Rolf Strittmatter, managing director of the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation, about the UK leaving the European Union and Hamburg’s position in this context.

CEO Insight: Hamburg and the UK are linked by a long tradition and Hamburg’s residents are known to be true Anglophiles. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union must have been particularly upsetting to Hamburg.

Rolf Strittmatter, managing director of the HWF Hamburg Business Development CorporationRolf Strittmatter: We deeply regret the decision, and yet we have to make the best out of it. Trade relations date back several centuries, i.e. long before the European Union was established. The UK only joined the EEC in 1973, which was highly disputed at the time. Today, hardly anyone seems to remember that an earlier attempt to join had failed due to the French veto in 1963. There have also been several referendums, with different outcomes. Which goes to show that trade relations between Hamburg and the United Kingdom are functional with or without the EU. But of course it would be better with the EU. CEO Insight: In what areas do you expect trade relations to become more difficult to maintain?

Rolf Strittmatter: At this stage the conditions of Brexit are of course unclear. That aside, take Airbus – a European flagship project various countries are involved in. Airbus has invested in the UK for more than 20 years. In the civil division, all wings come from either Broughton (Wales) or Filton in the north of Bristol, and are assembled in Hamburg and other locations. Future custom barriers might slow down and increase the price of production processes. However, as a Boeing competitor, Airbus has to keep an eye on cost. Airbus employs 15,000 people in Britain. Together with some 4,000 suppliers, there are nearly 100,000 Britons depending on Airbus as an employer. For all these individuals, Brexit is not making life easier.

"The opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg this January has created a pioneering spirit and generated incredible media coverage across the globe."

CEO Insight: In Britain it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed that many European locations on the continent are hoping to benefit from Brexit and are competing quite openly for businesses and jobs. Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxemburg and Paris are but a few examples here. Hamburg has remained fairly quiet in comparison.

Rolf Strittmatter: The fact that we are not shouting loud does not mean we are less active. Whenever we discuss additional European activities with Asian and North American companies we do in fact point out why they are better off not going to London following Brexit. We have already scheduled our next trip to Asia, and when talking to businesses with European headquarters in London we will discuss the reasons why they might want to opt for Hamburg. And we are also looking at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) based in London. That said, it is up to the Federal Government to decide which German city will enter the competition. We generally attach great importance to fair play, and we certainly don’t want to be perceived as “one of the vultures circling above the City of London”. The UK and Hamburg are connected in too many ways for that to happen.

CEO Insight: And what are your arguments in promoting Hamburg? What does Hamburg have that London doesn’t?

Rolf Strittmatter: Hamburg is experiencing very good times at the moment. The opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg this January has created a pioneering spirit and generated incredible media coverage across the globe. The next large-scale event will be the launch of the European XFEL – a €1.5 billion science project eleven countries are involved in. As part of this project, numerous research institutes have been relocated here. These are attracting scientists from all over the world, whereas conditions for researchers in London are becoming more difficult these days. And of course Hamburg is a cost-effective location: the average rent for office spaces amounts to €14.50 per square metre per month, with peak rents at €25.50. This is something London cannot compete with. And the British lifestyle can be enjoyed for free in Hamburg too.

CEO Insight: In your view, who should shortlist Hamburg for any upcoming locational decisions?

Rolf Strittmatter: The people of Hamburg are known for their realistic worldview. We are not a financial hub like Frankfurt but in niche markets we do have the potential of serving as an alternative to the City of London. As a shipping location we certainly have more to offer than London. We can provide businesses from Asia and North America with direct access to the European single market. For research-intensive businesses we also have a lot to offer, and only recently we assisted a British pharmaceutical company in setting up a branch in Hamburg – there were pre-existing scientific collaborations in the region, and the company managed to secure investors here. And gaining approval for a drug within the EU obviously opens up a bigger market than gaining approval in Britain.

CEO Insight: Thank you for your time, Mr Strittmatter.

Tides of Change

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in FDI

CEO Insight speaks with Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port Company

CEO Insight:  How is Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan set to transform the port’s offering?

Pat Ward: Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan 2012-2042 provides a strategic framework for the long-term, sustainable development of Dublin Port. The Masterplan identifies a series of projects for development to transform the port’s offering across cargo, ferry and cruise.

The first major project is the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project, the largest single infrastructure project in the history of Dublin Port. Currently underway, the project will transform the port’s infrastructure, increasing its ability to handle large ships by deepening and lengthening three kilometres of the port’s seven kilometres of berths. It will also deepen the port to provide an entrance channel with a depth of at least 10m.

Global Gateways to Prosperity

Written by Chris Brown on . Posted in FDI

There are noteworthy developments across the global ports sector right now. CEO Insight profiles three ports which are leading the way on how to do it right, in the process acting as drivers of economic development for the regions they serve.

Dublin Port is fast becoming known as Europe's western gateway, capitalising upon, while at the same time helping to bolster further, Ireland’s status as a premium global destination for FDI. Moreover, it is looking to leverage its credentials to take advantage of uncertainty surrounding the UK post-Brexit, positioning itself as a viable alternative to UK ports.

Global Energy Hotspots

Written by James Brown on . Posted in FDI

These are exciting times for the global energy sector. Until very recently, coal, oil and natural gas looked like they might be slowly heading into the history books, but with the resurgence of the political right, combined with OPEC’s recent restriction on production, investment in the old guard is likely to significantly pick up.

While renewable energy’s seemingly inexorable march to world domination may have temporarily faltered, it remains synonymous with innovation and entrepreneurialism, and with fossil fuels being, by definition, finite, combined with their mostly undoubted associations with global warming, it likely won’t stay down for long.

Renewable energy projects have in recent years been given a sufficiently helping hand through benevolent regulation, tax breaks and subsidies, that their place in the energy mix is now firmly established and assured. Moreover, the likes of hydro, wind, solar, biomass, wave and tidal energy have won the hearts and minds of a critical mass of voters across the globe, to the extent that any government attempting to turn back the clock too far, risks pressing the self-destruct button.

Scotland – “Offshore Pioneers, Developing New Energy Frontiers”

Written by Invest in Scotland on . Posted in FDI

On a windy day, Scotland’s onshore turbines already supply most of its electricity demand. Scotland has been a pioneer of energy and engineering, from the early days of steam, through Clyde ship building, to North Sea oil and gas. Now our people’s expertise and inventiveness are shaping the 21st century energy landscape, with 57% of our electricity already generated from Renewables.

Abundant Resources - the industry estimates there are another 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover from the UK Continental Shelf, over the next 30-40 years, worth about $1 trillion currently. Scotland also has 25% of Europe’s wind crossing its landmass and the world’s 2nd most powerful tidal resources surrounding its 12,000km of coastline. On a windy day, Scotland’s onshore turbines already supply most of its electricity demand. Projects like the Beatrice offshore wind farm, Meygen Atlantis Tidal array and Statoil Hywind floating offshore wind, will add to this capacity, creating £ billions of capital expenditure. Further ahead, if more of this huge potential renewable energy off Scotland’s coast can be harnessed, it will also offer energy companies massive export opportunities.

Glasgow: An Investor’s Dream

Written by James Brown on . Posted in FDI

Glasgow, formerly known as the “Second City of the Empire” thanks to its Victorian shipbuilding credentials, is reliving its heyday, but this time things are different, for the success it currently enjoys is built on much stronger foundations. Thanks to a dedicated strategy to make Glasgow the most productive UK major city economy, and initiatives such as the Clyde Waterfront programme which has seen massive regeneration all the way along the River Clyde, Glasgow has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, with the result that it now boasts a transport and IT infrastructure befitting the world class city that it is.

Eye’s on Glasgow

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in FDI

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city with a growing population of over 600,000 at the centre of a metropolitan area of 1.7 million. It generates in excess of £19 billion GVA per annum and is the fastest growing economy of all major cities in the UK. With a diverse sector base, the city is recognised for its resilience and ability to innovate and reinvent. Glasgow recently launched a new economic strategy with a key strategic objective of making Glasgow the most productive major city economy in the UK. It will look to sectors like life sciences to drive productivity, create high value employment and attract inward investment. Carol Clugston, Chief Operating Officer/College Secretary of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences gives her insights into how this might be achieved.


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