On November 7-9, meetings industry and incentives leaders gathered in Mexico to share their latest industry insights and offerings at Icomex 2012. At the World Trade Center Mexico City, hundreds of executives from different countries of the Americas – and MexicoToday spotted also some attendees from Italy among many other Europeans… – enjoyed the three-day event. Click here to watch our exclusive video and click here to watch photos on our MexicoToday Flickr album.
Named the leading trade show in Latin America for meeting and incentive planners, Icomex organizers scheduled more than 600 meetings in advance among exhibitors and attendees. Adalberto Rodriguez Fallas from the Costa Rica Tourism Board stated, “We are here with a group of fine entrepreneurs that are here to offer products, and to see what we can offer to the world.” He also added, “Here is where we are going to show what Costa Rica has to offer in the segment of conventions and incentives as well.”
Icomex’s 2012 guest country was Costa Rica which showcased an impressive stand on the exhibition floor. Other countries and cities that participated at this year’s Icomex include: Argentina, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Peru, Las Vegas, and several other Mexican states, including Chiapas, Mazatlan, among many others.
Sergio “Checo” Perez finished in 11th place at the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. However, he was clearly number one in the hearts of the many fans who turned out to cheer him on.
The automotive blog Jalopnik summed it up this way: “You hear a lot of Mexican fans talking about Perez the way that Brazilians used to talk about Ayrton Senna. Mexico has been going through some rough times economically and socially over the last decade, but a lot of Mexicans are tired of their country only being in the news for cartel-related violence. The Mexican tourism industry has fought hard against that image.”
Among the fans who travelled to watch Checo compete was Miguel Candia, a 52-year-old engineer from Guadalajara, Jalisco. When asked by the Austin American-Statesman if Checo gave Mexico hope, Candida said “Of course. But so do the Mexicans who won the mathematics Olympics, the champions of the robotics competition and the winners of many cultural competitions out there. There are many brilliant Mexicans who make us proud, but today Checo is our ambassador.”
This year, the 11th edition of the International Balloon Festival was held on November 16-19 in Leon, Guanajuato. With approximately 200 hot air balloons from 14 countries, this spectacular event was a must-see. Click here to check out our MexicoToday Flickr photo albumConsidered to be Latin America’s largest event of its kind, over 350,000 visitors from the Americas… and Europe came out to see the extraordinary hot air balloons. From colorful, standard shaped balloons with their sponsors name on it to balloons in the shapes of cartoon characters including Mickey Mouse, Pepé Le Pew, and many others, this year’s festival offered something for everyone.
The festivities began at 7am everyday with the inflating of the balloons. As everyone gathered around them, trying to guess what they would turn into as they inflated, the guests were eager to see the take-off. Following the exhibition of the colorful, fun-shaped balloons, everyone was ready to eat, watch the concerts, shop, and enjoy the rest of their day.
At around 7pm, it was time for the much anticipated part of the day, Magical Nights (or in Spanish “Noches Magicas”). Considered to be one of the main highlights of the festival, Magical Nights offered a unique orchestration between the balloons being lit and fire shooters with great music. The festival ended officially at the stroke of midnight every night, allowing everyone to go home with a smile on their face, having witnessed such a unique and special event.
Following the dialogue between business and policy makers, the G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit 2012 concluded a successful two-day event on November 6 with a promising agenda and determined next steps.
Under an environment of close cooperation and discussion between agencies, the following five strategic challenges were identified:
1. Strong emphasis on policy coherence and sustainable development are more than ever needed due to: a) the emergence of the new global economic landscape characterized by the relevant link between trade and investment, b) the rapid evolution of global value chains in scope, scale and depth, and; c) the shift of trade and investment promotion paradigm.
2. Existing constrains of public funding for trade and investment promotion, and strong desire for working on customized trade promotion optimization (TPO) and investment promotion agency (IPA) country solutions while fostering international peer cooperation and learning.
3. Need for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access and benefit from global value chains (GVCs).
4. Include private business in the economic development strategy-making process.
5. Missing fast-moving networks for best practice exchange integrating trade and investment.
At the inauguration ceremony and plenary session, executives from the organizing committee provided an overview and positioning of the Summit, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s executive director of policy and business practices Stefano Bertasi and welcoming remarks by ProMexico’s CEO Carlos Guzman Bonfill. The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s chief of staff Arancha Gonzalez Laya spoke about the changing landscape of trade, where she highlighted the need to focus on global value chains to further trade and investment around the world, and later on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s director for investment and enterprise division James Zhan discussed the key trends and strategic challenges global investment is facing nowadays.
Following a series of closed-door roundtables, key representatives offered a wrap up press conference where they presented the key strategic challenges listed above as conclusions for the summit. Key representatives speaking to members of the press included ProMexico’s CEO Carlos Guzman Bonfill, UNCTAD’s James Zhan, and OCDE’s chief of staff and sherpa to the G20 Gabriela Ramos.
Alejandro Ramirez, CEO of Cinepolis and B20 chair, also attended the event, where he provided closing remarks and conclusions on a closed door session. In an exclusive interview with MexicoToday, Ramirez stated, “The G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit was one of the recommendations we presented at the B20 Summit in Los Cabos which recommended all trade and investment promotion agencies to get together to share best practices and analyze ways how business and government can work closer to advance free trade and investment, and put pressure on G20 countries at a time of growing protectionist threats.” Ramirez also added, “This event allowed trade and investment promotion agencies to understand the importance of global value chains, and to analyze ways they can help, especially to small and medium enterprises, in having access to those global value chains which will make them more competitive, resulting on their countries to become more competitive.”
Diamante Cabo San Lucas (Diamante) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will build a new 18-hole, 7,300 yard championship golf course, designed by Tiger Woods and his company Tiger Woods Design (TWD).
The new golf course named "El Cardonal" will be Diamante's second and will join the resort's championship golf course, Diamante Dunes, a natural links course that opened in 2009. The $12 million course is scheduled for a 2014 opening and will join a Davis Love III course already built at Diamante in 2009.
El Cardonal golf course’s design will be reminiscent of the old-style California courses. The design firm plans to integrate Diamante's rolling hills and panoramic views into the design. Bunkers will be placed at various places to create definite strategic choices and carrying off the tees. The bunkers will have a traditional look while natural, irregular contours will be preserved in wide fairways. Various holes and strategic options will be featured that promote shot-making while still creating a playable experience for golfers of all skill levels.
Influenced by the old-style courses of Southern California that he grew up playing, Tiger’s vision is to create a course that brings back the need for strategy – with several options to navigate each hole. As you can imagine, the course will challenge expert players, but it will also provide options for those with higher handicaps as well. It will truly be accessible and fun for golfers of all skill levels.
Tiger explains, “I set up the golf strategy to make golfers think and make choices. Regardless of your handicap, there are going to be different ways to play every hole. Angles of approach are going to be very important and will dictate the type of shots you should consider. I love this kind of golf.”
Among Hidden Moon’s filming locations was the beautiful city of Guanajuato, Mexico. With narrow, winding roads and alleys too small for cars, this historic city provided a visually appealing background for the international film.
Unlike other cities, Guanajuato’s streets follow the extremely irregular terrain, with small alleyways and even some steep staircases up hillsides in replacement of normal paths. Juarez Street is one of the few streets a car can pass through – and the only one not underground! It is decorated with stores, restaurants ad a constant flow of people. The other streets of town are all either partially or fully underground! They follow old drainage ditches and tunnels dug during colonial times.
Among these narrow streets is the Callejón del Beso, which is a setting for a pivotal scene in Hidden Moon. According to legend, Doña Carmen, the only daughter of a prominent family, was forbidden to see her true love. Fortunately, the boyfriend purchased a home directly across the street. The callejón (alley) was so narrow that he could reach over from his balcony and kiss his true love in the opposite window.
Many buildings were constructed of sandstone, adobe or other stone. Pink, green, ochre and red buildings paint across the city into a glorious, colorful view.
The city’s most recognized tourist attraction is the Mummies of Guanajuato. The mummies museum, located on the side of the municipal cemetery in the Tepetapa neighborhood, contains a collection of specimens that mummified naturally in the cemetery.
The city’s main event is the Festival Cervantino, which annually showcases the art and culture of Mexico. It hosts events such as opera, theater production, film showings, art exhibitions, academic conferences, concerts and dance recitals. Occurring in over 70 different venues, it stretches over the majority of October.
A city of mystery and beauty, Guanajuato was the ideal location for Hidden Moon. A story about love, complications and secrets, the windings streets and bright buildings constructed the perfect scenes.
Hidden Moon premieres November 23 in Mexico. Director Pepe Bojorquez manages to capture the true beauty and complications of life. It intertwines… the intricate feelings of love with the depth nature of truth. A talented filmmaker, Bojorquez says this story is not just his – it’s everyone’s reality.
“The story is easy to empathize,” Bojorquez said. “It’s about chasing your dreams, falling in love. Sometimes our goals and what we want to accomplish mask everything, such as love that’s right in front of us.”
Hidden Moon tells the story of a beautiful woman, whose dramatic appearance at the funeral of a man in California shocks his prosperous family. The man’s son then travels to Mexico to discover the truth about the woman’s relationship with his father. Upon finding her, he discovers that she is living with another man, and refuses to admit knowing his father. What happens when true love appears twice, at the same moment? This web of emotions is difficult to unravel. Is it possible for everyone to have a happy ending?
Filmed in Guanajuato and Veracruz, Hidden Moon showcases the unparalleled magnificence of Mexico. Its accomplished cast includes Wes Bentley from “American Beauty” and “The Hunger Games,” Mexican actress Ana Serradilla, actor and writer Jonathan Schaech and Linda Gray, the star of “Dallas.”
After its premiere in Mexico, it will come to European theaters, and then to the United States. A depiction of modern reality, Hidden Moon paints the exquisiteness and rarity of love against the background of gorgeous Mexico.
On November 4-6, 2012, North American meetings industry leaders who are also members of the PCMA North American Advisory Board gathered for the 5th Annual PCMA North American Advisory Summit 2012 held at the Mazatlan International Center in Mazatlan, Mexico. To watch our MexicoToday exclusive coverage, go to our Flickr channel, and watch our video wrap up on our YouTube channel. …
During the closing ceremony and joined by local government representatives, PCMA’s president and CEO Deborah Sexton announced that the 2013 conference will take place in Puebla, Mexico.
At the nearly 100,000 square feet venue, Mexican meetings industry representatives heard from the Advisory Board members, such as Barry Smith of Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Robert Lander of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, a series of successful business practices in the meetings industry.
During a panel discussion on the opening day, key representatives discussed the importance of educating the world on Mexico’s continued development in recent years and highlighting advantages of selecting Mexico as meetings and travel destination. They suggested that delegates focus on features such as Mexico’s proximity to the United States, the government zero-tax incentive, all-inclusive resorts, diversity among various states, a rich culture and welcoming people, among the key advantages in selecting Mexico.
Experts gathered also with delegates in small groups to address current issues within the industry and possible solutions. Through strategic collaboration and consulting sessions, the participants searched for ways to further enhance the sector in Mexico and promote it as a top attraction for business travel in a competitive market.
At the final panel discussion, members of the Advisory Board provided overall tips and ideas on ways to combat current challenges in the tourism sector, and ways to advertise Mexico’s strengths to the global community.
For a number of years, Acapulco was the primary spot for business travel in Mexico. This year, however, the PCMA North American Advisory Summit was held at the Pacific Coast beach resort in Mazatlan, Mexico to showcase other attractions within the country. Mazatlan was selected for its rich culture and history as an international commercial seaport, as well as its established resort destinations.
Ana Serradilla is one of Mexico’s most recognized actresses. One of her most recent ventures was Hidden Moon, her first Hollywood film. It is set to premiere in Mexico at the end of November and worldwide after that.
Since launching her career in 1998, Ana has stared in a variety of television shows and movies. She has played a wide range of roles across romances, comedies, dramas, thrillers, plays and telenovelas.
Hidden Moon marks the first time Ana has had to perform in English, which she said was one of the biggest challenges of her career – a challenge she graciously conquered.
In Hidden Moon, Ana plays the young, stunning Miranda Rios. She attends the funeral of a man in California, whose widow is unaware of the late husband’s secret relationship with Miranda. After the funeral, the widow sends her son – played by Wes Bentley – to Mexico in search of Miranda. While trying to uncover the truth, he learns that Miranda is full of life, love, beauty… and secrets.
Of the film, Ana says that sometimes people believe that it is dreams that will make them the happiest, and they do not realize that the root of the dream was perhaps not so real.
In this story emphasizing the complications between life and love, as well as dreams and reality, Ana dominates the stage. Ana’s spectacular performance brings vivacity to Hidden Moon.
Mazda Motor Corp. will expand its relationship with Toyota Motor Corp. now that it has an agreement with the auto giant to build models intended for the North American market at its Mexican factory once the facility begins operations. …
The Mazda plant, currently under construction in Guanajuato, Mexico, will begin producing about 50,000 sub-compact Toyota vehicles starting around the summer of 2015, Toyota and Mazda said in a joint statement.
The Mexican plant is slated to go onstream in the January-March quarter of 2014 with an annual output capacity of 140,000 vehicles employing around 3,000 people. Mazda intends to boost the facility's capacity to 200,000 vehicles when it begins building Toyota subcompacts so that it can produce 50,000 vehicles other than its own. Mazda expects a jump in profitability through procurement of common parts with Toyota.
Its deal with Toyota is good for both companies, but Mazda stands to benefit more, said Noriyuki Matsushima, a Tokyo-based analyst at Citi Research.
Mazda will not only save on the capital investments required for the new factory, but the additional production for Toyota will lower the plant's fixed production costs per vehicle, he said. Toyota will benefit by shifting production of subcompact cars to Mexico from Japan, wjere exports aren’t profitable at current exchange rates.
Globally, Toyota plans to launch 21 new hybrid models by the end of 2015 and will make further efforts to expand its hybrid-vehicle product lineup and sales territories, the automaker said.
More than 80 per cent of Canada's hybrid vehicle sales are Toyota and Lexus hybrids, the automaker said.
Under bright blue skies on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, Galia Moss bid farewell to family, friends and a crowd of supporters as she departed on her latest solo sailing journey. The young Mexican adventurer (and Mexico ambassador) set sail from Xcaret Park to sail down and around Latin America on a trip… covering about 14500 miles, concluding in Acapulco. The journey is expected to take about six months, bringing her to the Pacific shore of Mexico in April of 2013.
This is not the first solo trip for Galia Moss, the adventurous woman was the first Latin American to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in a 9000 mile trip from Spain to Mexico in 2006, completing the journey in 41 days. Her attempt to sail from Mexico to Israel in 2010 was abandoned because of hurricanes in the Atlantic, but that did not stop her from planning even bigger excursions.
The Latin America journey is not only an adventure, it is a means of promoting a social cause. Galia Moss is highlighting the needs of children in Mexico, particularly in education. For every 10 nautical miles sailed, one child will be sponsored, with the length of this journey, approximately 1450 children will receive assistance to help them further their education. Each child will receive school supplies, uniforms and books and money once a month, all of which will go a long way for children in need. For every 1400 nautical miles sailed, one school will receive much needed assistance, including upgrading of their very infrastructures. The dedication of Galia Moss not only to her own adventures but to helping children in Mexico is truly inspirational.
In the moments before her departure for her six month journey, Galia Moss spoke of being nervous, sharing that this is the longest she will have been alone at sea, away from family and friends and dealing with all challenges of the ocean and the climate. She spoke excitedly of her great confidence in her custom-built vessel, the “El Mas Mejor II”, constructed specifically to meet the needs of the Mexican sailor by the French designer Marc Lombard. The vessel is 10.4 meters long and 4 meters wide, with a light-weight hull and a 360 degree view from inside the cockpit, allowing for great visibility even in inclement weather. She will be in occasional contact with her family and team members, updating them and hearing the comforting voices from home.
The farewell was a joyous occasion, hundreds of people lining the shores and floating in the crystal-clear waters of the Xcaret lagoon to wish Galia luck on her journey. Family and friends and team members shared white roses with the brave sailor, as they hugged and kissed goodbye and shed a few tears. A Mayan blessing was performed, the scent of copal wafting on the breeze in the heat of the midday sun. Dolphins leaped beside the “El Mas Mejor II” and a flock of wild parrots flew overhead as the traditional Maya “canoeros” acted as escort, leading Galia to the open sea. A boat carried a few of us behind her as she departed and she joked about a lack of wind, before filling her sails and finding her rhythm in the waves.
You can follow this incredible journey and keep up with the great adventures on the official Galia Moss website, http://galiamoss.org/. Track her progress on the map and read about her experiences as she updates her blog daily. The world is watching this historic trip and applauding the dedication of Galia to exploration of the world and her social efforts in aiding the children of Mexico. Buen viaje Galia, we are all supporting you!
On November 6, 2012, Mexico brand ambassador Galia Moss began her solo sailing journey around Latin America. This beautiful sailor is currently traveling a seemingly impossible 14,500 nautical miles starting in Mexico's Riviera Maya, passing the tip of Argentina and back north to finish her expedition on the sunny… shores of the Mexican beach city of Acapulco. Once Galia reaches her destination after approximately 180 days, she will proudly become the first Mexican woman to solo sail around Latin America.
Mexico Today had the honor to witness the Galia Moss sendoff ceremony, hosted by the incredible Xcaret nature park just south of the city of Playa del Carmen. It was a picture perfect Tuesday afternoon as dozens of press members, hundreds of Xcaret guests and a small crowd of family and friends gathered around the park's extensive bay to say their farewells. A tearful Galia mentioned that even while out at sea, she was thrilled to have consistent contact with family members around the world during her upcoming exodus. She appeared a bit hesitant when her team told her it was time to go, but Galia bravely strolled back to check out the sailboat's equipment before the final goodbye. While she sat by the boat with her feet dangling off the dock, she looked a little lonely as I realized that she had dared to spend several months of her life on previous solitary journeys, and this probably wouldn't be her last.
Several of Galia Moss' friends, family members and supporters joined her on the dock, each handing her a white rose. I spotted several of her loved ones crying as they stepped away, reminding us all that Galia's travels would last far beyond this beautiful goodbye ceremony.
In true Riviera Maya fashion, a Mayan ceremony on the bay prepared Galia Moss for her trip with traditional shaman blessings while colorful macaws took flight across the skies. Xcaret's famed canoers rowed up to the sailboat to escort her out of the bay and into the Caribbean Sea. Dolphins jumped and flipped alongside the three canoes, thrilled to be part of the celebration. Dozens of white roses were thrown into the turquoise water as Galia's sailboat pushed off while a small crowd of family and press members looked on. Within seconds, the sailboat and its Mayan canoe escort had disappeared passed the rocks of the bay. Anxious for a better view, I found a higher ridge and was able to see the large white sail far out into the water with Xcaret's canoes close behind and the island of Cozumel on the horizon.
Mexican sailor Galia Moss' solo journey around Latin America won't just help to achieve her personal goals; the trip also funds her "Miles for Education" program to fund schools and students across Mexico. Through the aid of numerous sponsors, every 10 nautical miles sailed by Galia helps one child, and every 1,400 nautical miles helps an entire school. Children receive school supplies, uniforms and books while sponsored schools will have access to improvements on their infrastructure.
The beautiful sailboat that carries this Mexican hero on her journey has been named "El Mas Mejor II" (roughly translating to "The Most Best II"). Built in France and designed by architect Marc Lombard, this sleek 35-foot vessel features a well-lit and comfortable cabin with its own kitchen and living area to help Galia feel at home throughout her six month experience.
Want to follow along on Galia Moss' sailing journey around Latin America? Her website (http://galiamoss.org/) features a daily blog post written in Spanish by Galia herself, along with maps and live video feed to track up-to-date progress.
Linda Gray is a true star. An award winning actress and accomplished director, she has quite the impressive resume. Now 70, Linda is making no plans to retire. Her most recent venture was Hidden Moon, a film by Universal Studios International Mexico, which is to premiere November 23 in Mexico. …
Hidden Moon is a complicated love story that features an all-star cast. Linda plays the role of Wes Bentley’s mother, Eva Brighton. When a mysterious woman appears at the funeral of Eva’s husband, she is shocked and appalled. Demanding to know the truth, Eva sends her son to Mexico to discover the exact nature of relationship the woman had with her late husband.
The television series Dallas made Linda unforgettable, which aired for over a decade. The role won her nominations for prestigious awards such as the Golden Globe, Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award. In 2012’s reboot of Dallas, Linda has outshone her younger co-stars and has kept her audience captivated. In Hidden Moon, Linda shines as brilliantly as ever.
In the last decade there has been a serious food movement in this country. Cliché menu items no longer satisfy chefs and foodies alike. American’s plates have started to fill with interesting and foreign ingredients like nopalitos, kimchi and injera. Top chefs from across the country are… always looking for that new ingredient or technique that will set the country a buzz.
This is why Christopher Kostow - world-renowned chef, whose restaurant Meadowood in Napa Valley has three Michelin stars – decided he wanted to travel to Mexico to sample the depth and diversity of flavors in real Mexican cuisine. A unique draw to a chef of this caliber was the variety of new fresh ingredients like gray oysters from Baja California, lychee-like hairy rambutan from southern Chiapas, and bags of red flying ants from Oaxaca.
"I don't know if you come to Mexico to learn what's new, but rather you come to Mexico to learn what's old," said Kostow. "There are flavors of great depth, and there are techniques that are pretty challenging." These are due thanks to Mexico’s ancient cooking traditions that stem from its many indigenous groups and its diverse terrain, which goes from deserts and coastlines to cloud forests and jungles.
Where Mexican cuisine was once considered to be simple, cheap and one dimensional, in the last few years it has eared the respect of chefs, food bloggers and critics who now place it alongside top culinary nations like Italy and France. "A lot of people that I know are sort of turning their eyes to Mexico as a new place where a lot of innovation is going to happen," said Lars Williams, the research director of the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen. "It's going to be a very strong player in the culinary world."
Leaders of trade and investment promotion agencies from around the world converged on Mexico City November 5-6, 2012 to hammer out strategies for cooperation that will help drive a global economic recovery. Representatives of G-20 member countries, multilateral organizations and leading… businesses joined in the event activities, which took place at the Four Seasons hotel over the course of two and a half days. In all, 22 agencies from 18 countries took part in the meetings, according to event organizers.
The G-20 Trade & Investment Promotion Summit (TIPS) was held as part of a series of follow-up events to the summit of heads of government of G-20 member countries organized in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June of this year. The G-20 is an organization composed of 20 leading developed and emerging economies, including that of the European Union. The group was launched in 1999 as a forum for consultation and cooperation by finance and banking officials on policy matters affecting international economic stability. The presidency or chair of the G-20 rotates annually. Mexico, as chair for 2012, hosted the Los Cabos meeting of heads of state and took the lead in organizing subsequent events to pursue the group’s agenda to promote healthy economic growth. Mexico’s own investment and trade promotion agency, ProMéxico, acted as host and facilitator during the activities of the November summit.
The formal activities of the TIPS opened with an inauguration and plenary session featuring presentations on key topics to be addressed during the meetings. This session was followed by two days of roundtable work meetings and presentations in a format designed to maximize exchange of ideas and experiences among the participants. Specific themes of roundtable sessions included:
In addition to the working roundtables, presentations during plenary sessions featured topics such as the emergence of global value chains, the value of joint trade and investment promotion and benchmarking for trade promotion, among others. The roundtables and plenary sessions were led by representatives and specialists from multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as from country agencies such as UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior (ICEX).
Within the context of the overall themes of cooperation and the importance of facilitating trade and investment, a number of topics received particular emphasis at the meetings. Among the most cited was the growing importance of global value chains (GVCs) in shaping the environment for modern international business. As defined in the event program, GVCs mean that goods and services cross borders multiple times before reaching consumers in their destination market. WTO Chief of Staff Arancha González commented extensively on this topic in her opening remarks, referring to the concept of “trade in tasks” as opposed to trade merely in finished goods. As manufacturing production chains have become ever more globalized in recent years, for example, more and more products are incorporating materials and value-added processes provided in multiple countries over the course of the production process. This evolution is creating products and services that González called “made in the world,” rather than the conventional notion of goods made in one country for export to another.
The rise of GVCs has important implications for numerous areas of both national and international trade policy. Among these, as the WTO’s González emphasized, is the increasingly counterproductive nature of protectionist trade and investment policies conceived in a prior industrial era. In the context of GVCs, attempts to “protect” a particular domestic industry may result in inhibiting the importation of goods or components requiring locally provided added value, or investment in production or service infrastructure that would generate local jobs and technology transfer. As OECD Chief of Staff Gabriela Ramos added in her concluding comments, in the context of GVCs, it is important to relinquish the simplistic idea that imports are the enemy and exports are the friend, as now all may be equally necessary to a country’s healthy economic growth. Speakers remarked that improving the quality of factors such as education and training, social safety nets, infrastructure and environmental protection is key to the success of GVCs, and as such the global production chains optimally will serve to boost these aspects locally.
Throughout the sessions, particular attention was given to the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the need to incorporate them into GVCs. The WTO’s González urged the assembled promotion agency representatives to help provide SMEs with quick and accurate information to support their internationalization efforts, and UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Director James Zhan called on multilateral agencies to boost capacity building among SMEs to help incorporate them into the supply chains of multinational corporations.
At the conclusion of the intense two days of meetings, participants expressed enthusiasm for the potential advances that could be achieved by the commitments to cooperation and best practices discussed. In his concluding remarks, ProMexico’s Carlos Guzmán presented the following challenges to trade and investment promotion agencies going forward:
If promotion agencies and large corporations can embrace these challenges with enthusiasm and creativity, the message is, the world economy will be more likely to make good on James Zhan’s optimistic suggestion that global trade and investment will experience a boom following recovery from the current stagnation.