“I believe that little is said about the social involvement that Spanish companies have in Mexico”


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If Antonio Basagoiti has something, it has been knowing how to deal with difficult situations. The former candidate for Lendakari for the Basque PP despite being in Mexico, more than 9018 kilometers from his beloved Bilbao, was the protagonist in the shadow (and totally involuntary) of the motion of censure raised by Vox on October 22 in Congress of the Deputies. Santiago Abascal addressed the bench of his lordships repeating exactly word by word the speech that the former parliamentarian gave in the Basque Parliament in 2013. They were neither more nor less than the 875 names that ETA has assassinated in its 51 years of terrifying suffering. As the one who subscribes to Antonio in common circles, logically did remind him of his speech that, thanks to timely investigations, we have been able to ensure that it was written during an Iberia flight precisely on the way to Mexico when he was considering the possibility of leaving the political scene. The capricious destiny has wanted him to be now settled in the Aztec country presiding over the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (Camescom), an entity with more than 130 years of history (in which there have only been men) that he combines with his appetizing position as executive director of corporate banking at Banco Santander.

In the Indian way but, conversely, it seems as if Basagoiti wants to return the favor of this Mexican land where he has spent seven years with his wife and three daughters. His ‘return’ to Mexico is persistent since his fifth generation ancestors painted in the country’s society. Antonio Basagoiti Arteta Arteta (Algorta, Getxo 1949 – Madrid 1933) generated a textile empire that led him to become the main promoter of the Banco Hispano Americano.

Now the Basque maintains the business ecosystem between companies online (pandemic forces), is a reference in the search for networking contacts (from Gas Natural to BBVA), financing, and ultimately, the highly relevant construction of one of the most powerful business hubs outside our borders. 6,500 Spanish companies plus an investment since 2000 of 70,000 million dollars attest to this. How will the European crisis affect Mexico? Will Mexico be essential in the opening of Spanish startups? What do you think about energy companies in such a delicate moment? These and other questions below with Mexico “as the ideal setting for entrepreneurs with ambition and desire”:

How will the recovery fund called Next Generation EU affect economic relations between Mexico and Spain? Do you see it necessary? What do you think about its delay in two or three months and that it cannot be available at the beginning of the year? Will this mean more investment for Mexico?

«I believe that if Spanish companies have greater solvency and support to weather the crisis as well as possible, that will strengthen the economic relationship between Spain and Mexico. One of the keys that Spanish companies must learn for 20 years is the need to diversify. For this, solvency is essential. Therefore, the European support so that companies can survive will result in this internationalization being maintained and one of the leading countries is Mexico. Considering that this background It is essential for the permanence of SMEs. In Mexico, large Spanish companies, banks, consultancies, energy companies, hotels are well known, but some of these are small and medium-sized companies. I don’t think the fund’s delay will affect investments in Mexico because they tend to be very long-term. “

How do you see the solution of the German Presidency of the Council on the recovery fund applying community income that until now went to the national coffers for programs such as Erasmus and Horizon (research and science). Tell me about the international programs that Spanish companies can take up in this regard. Anyone who praises education and research between two powers with the same language such as Spain and Mexico?

«I hope they ratify the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union and the guarantee of the investments that we Europeans have in Mexico. Spanish companies can take advantage of a specific program such as the ICO to obtain financing derived from the aid, but they are demanding more funds for internationalization than there really are. There are banks that manage them in Mexico giving support against balance so that companies survive during the crisis, granting grace periods in payment of capital and interest. These postponements along with ICOs make Spanish parent companies more solvent since what they need is to have enough financial muscle to withstand the duration of the pandemic.

“The possibility that Mexican and European students can cross paths in a kind of Mexican Erasmus has been considered for years. Next year the 200th anniversary of independence will be celebrated, so I consider it appropriate to strengthen all cultural and educational ties. Private institutions like banks (Santander Universidades) have a very strong cultural and educational program that is very necessary that is involved in creativity.

«I believe that little is said about the social involvement that Spanish companies have in Mexico. They create aid programs for the most disadvantaged people and we are one of those who lead when there is a natural disaster (frequent earthquakes and hurricanes). They always appear first offering support. Spanish companies have paid more than 1 billion pesos to alleviate the battle against Covid-19 added to aid to the health system, meals, technology programs … That is, a very specific profile of Spanish companies is social and cultural in America, especially in Mexico. It is essential to highlight it because in this role we beat the competition of other countries that only embark in the country, get the business or set up a plant, and disappear. Our companies stay and stay since businessmen or employees marry Mexican women or men, so their involvement ends up being even greater. I have the obligation to highlight: the deeply rooted social, educational and collaborative work that we have with Mexico. Pre-pandemic, there were 200 programs underway that included education, urban development, transportation, direct food aid, training aid, health programs, and all that when the new panorama arrived was transformed into protection for the victims of Covid-19. All the IBEX companies that are in Mexico, but also the medium and small companies have turned to protecting the environment in which they are to stop the virus.

Any company that has touched the hearts of Mexicans?

«The purchase of respirators for hospitals, masks, support for families played a crucial role. BBVA and Santander They donated a free contact tracing app to the Government of Mexico City, the kind that is now widely talked about in Spain. Movistar gave free messages to healthcare personnel and Iberdrola invested a large amount of capital in medical supplies. The first contributions of the necessary health administration were very prominent from Spain.

Due to Covid, according to consultancies such as KPMG, company leaders have to strengthen cybersecurity risk management and information privacy strategies. It seems highly recommended and necessary, but companies and government legislation are years behind on these pressing issues so essential. How do you see the situation in Mexico? And in Spain? What do you recommend to a Spanish SME company?

«The Chamber has been giving webinars since the pandemic began with partners in different labor, legal or business continuity matters. Those most in demand are cybersecurity because during the pandemic there have been favorable conditions for cybercriminals to dedicate themselves more diligently to crime. Users have been at home, digital means of payment have increased (with less presence in shops) and there have been more online issues of this type “.

“Mexico and Brazil are two countries in which it seems that there is an important factory of procedures that have to do with the attempted online fraud. Even so, Spanish companies are quite sophisticated in that sense. I think that if we can contribute something in the countries in which we live, it is that we have solid systems and that we are at the forefront. There are several important Spanish companies in Mexico with cybersecurity issues and they are all doing very well. Yes it has been an issue that has occupied and concerned a lot during the Pandemic but, lhe Spanish company is very well prepared in this scenario. Apart from Indra, which is a huge and well-known company in the Cybersecurity Commission of the Chamber of Commerce, we have more names like Mnemo. A Spanish SME has to implement the same security standards as in other markets in which it is, also knowing that Mexico is a country in which there is strong legislation on the matter, but that there is also a greater chance of crime happening . I cannot find a difference between the need to have a cybersecurity policy in a company in Mexico, Brazil, Spain … I consider that in the specific case of Mexico it is necessary to seek further advice from a legal point of view for some of the procedures that are different from Spain that use organized crime attacking security.

How have the American elections affected Spanish and Mexican companies?

«It will not have a negative effect. By winning Biden there may be more peace of mind because implement a more open trade policy. I think the position of the treaty is absolutely sound. We have only seen, and I believe that it is independent of the elections, a letter from North American congressmen reminding that the rules and energy agreements must be respected. We will be expectant to what the MEPs decide because now it is also time to update the European Union – Mexico trade agreement. It is the only thing that we have verified and I believe that it has nothing to do with the elections.

What do you predict for the treaty between the European Union and Mexico?

“It will be renewed as it is showing that it is beneficial for both parties. Spain is the second investor in Mexico (behind the United States), the European Union is the second trading partner and it would also be good if greater guarantees are given to investments already made in some fields such as energy.

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