MEXICO CITY, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan presented in Mexico the first edition of its global Growth, Innovation & Leadership event (GIL), GIL MEXICO: Epicenter of the Americas on March 2nd at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel located on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City to discuss with 200 local business and government leaders on how convergence of mega trends, new business models and disruptive technologies will offer Mexico great opportunities for growth in the manufacturing, healthcare, urban mobility and energy sectors in the North American context.
GIL Mexico attracted C-Level business leaders from different industries, academia and government to listen to over 20 speakers, network and engage in interactive workshops and think tanks.
In his opening remarks, Frost & Sullivan Partner and President of The Americas, Art Robbins, stressed the importance of Mexico's role as a driver of growth and innovation in the Americas.
"Mexico is in a unique position. It is the fastest growing emerging market economy in the region and is poised to cement a long term position as an economic leader in Latin America," said Robbins. "Through Frost & Sullivan's global research, we see companies all over the world interested in market expansion and direct investment opportunities here."
Carlos Mota, journalist of El Financiero-Bloomberg provided an insightful analysis on the current state of the Mexican economy highlighting that the key factors for future growth are in place: structural reforms, growing domestic demand, burgeoning middle class, established clusters of advanced manufacturing, and a young and skilled work force. Furthermore, Mota noted that in order to consolidate its potential, the country needs to continue investing in infrastructure, promote talent development in the private sector, reduce the informal economy, and the private sector must adopt management best practices and become more technology intensive to improve efficiency and competitiveness.
Francisco González, CEO of ProMéxico, the country's trade promotion agency, also highlighted Mexico's growing strengths in manufacturing as well as the its economic affinity with the U.S. through the integration of supply chains. Bilateral trade between the two countries closed 2015 with a total value of $531 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Richard Sear, Frost & Sullivan Partner & Senior Vice President of Visionary Innovation presented the results and analysis of the firm's recent study, The Future of the United States, and the impact it will have on Mexican firms. Sear's central message was based on the intersection of the collaboration and competition economies, arguing that companies will take advantage of more opportunities to share assets and form partnerships, while simultaneously trying to compete in a crowded field, amid rapidly evolving customer dynamics between the two countries.
During his keynote, Ford F-150: a study in modern manufacturing innovation, John Flemming, former Executive Vice President for Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs of Ford Motor Co., explained the transformation of its best-selling F-150 with an aluminum alloy body that would reduce vehicle weight. Not only did the new truck require major changes in how it is manufactured, but it also required Ford to invent new welding, heat treating, and hydroforming techniques, attesting to the company's commitment to innovation and customer-centric strategies in order to adapt in increasingly competitive markets.
Flemming's keynote gave entry to the executive panel, Transforming Manufacturing with Disruptive Technologies, moderated by David Brousell, Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council Global Vice President for Research and Editorial Director. The panel included Alejandro Preinfalk, Executive VP, Digital Factory & Process Industries and Drives, Mesoamerica of Siemens; Fausto Cuevas, General Manager of the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA); and Nabil Malouli, Director LATAM & Global Customer Director of DHL. The panel explored the main opportunities and challenges that technologies, such as 3D printing, Internet of Things, and Big Data & Analytics are leading the industrial progress commonly known as Manufacturing 4.0. The two main takeaways were, first, that in order to embark in a transformational journey, companies must break the status quo and create organizations focused on innovative thinking and be willing to change and embrace technology as a strategic component. Second, innovation in manufacturing involves talent development and data-driven strategies.
Airton Cousseau, Managing Director of Nissan Mexico, began his keynote by showcasing the Nissan IDS Concept vehicle for autonomous electric driving to point out how the company is adapting to new trends and customer preferences through technological innovation. The Nissan IDS follows a wave of environmentally friendly cars produced by the company. Cousseau agreed that Mexico is poised for auto manufacturing leadership in North America given its expected GDP growth of 2.6%, skilled work force, growing domestic demand, close economic ties with the U.S. and a series of free trade agreements with over 40 countries. It is also anticipated that Mexico will attract significant investments from key vehicle manufactures, allowing production of more than 5 million cars annually by 2020, becoming the 5th largest auto manufacturer just behind China, the U.S., Japan and Germany. However, he asserted that government and industry must work together to prepare for growth with additional infrastructure, development of local tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers, and increase collaboration between industry and universities to guarantee an increasing pool of talent.
GIL Mexico: Epicenter of the Americas also discussed the positive state of the Mexican entrepreneurial and startup environment, which is attracting venture capital, but still needs support from foreign investment firms, mainly US, VC firms, to grow the best startup companies in a panel moderated by Peter Wiegandt, CEO, Tec360.
Other speakers included Ricardo Weder, Country Manager of Cabify; Irma Egoavil, Country Manager of Celgene; Fernando Oliveros, Vice President for Mexico of Medtronic; and Xavier Treviño, Director for Mexico of the Institute of Transportation & Development Policy.
Additionally, the event included three specialized breakout sessions: digital transformation, urban mobility and healthcare, and presented the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Best Practices Award in Technology Innovation to the following recipients:
Scitum - 2015 Mexican Managed Cyber Security Services Providers Product Leadership Award
NEORIS - 2015 Latin American GIL 88 Healthcare Technologies Consulting Services & Solutions Award
NEC de México - 2015 Latin American GIL 88 Telecommunications Infrastructure Provider Award
Polycom, Inc. - 2015 Latin American Video Conferencing Company of the Year Award
For more information on the event and Frost & Sullivan's Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership, please contact Mireya Espinoza at Mireya.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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