Economy#Between the lines | The economy and business, seen...

#Between the lines | The economy and business, seen by Antonio del Valle

(Expansion) – Today you cannot think that a company is successful if it does not take care of its stakeholders. Not necessarily its shareholders. To its employees and customers, to the community in which it operates. There is no better business than helping the community around you. That is the perfect formula for equitable development in Mexico.

The entry of this story is from Antonio del Valle Perochena, president of the Mexican Business Council (CMN), with whom I spoke in the framework of the 2022 edition of the , around five points: the panorama for the Mexican economy in full cloud economy in the United States, the relationship between the IP and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, taxes, threats to the T-MEC and the Chinese boom.

Point one: things in Mexico can get bad. Two elements are obvious: inflation and insecurity. The recession in the United States is a warning focus, but not a potential event that could put the Mexican economy in check.

“I am one of those who thinks that the recession in the United States will be softer than strong, the consumer market in that country will be sustained and that will help maintain Mexican exports. I am concerned about inflationary pressures and the growing insecurity in certain regions of the country. When a person cannot travel calmly, when they cannot carry merchandise from one place to another, without the risk of being robbed and robbed, that affects people’s morale but also productivity because companies have to be investing increasingly in security systems, in personnel, in matters that do not add value but cost us a lot”, says Antonio del Valle.

Point two: the complicated relationship with political power. The so-called Fourth Transformation, on some occasions, has put businessmen on the ropes. This has caused diverse positions in the business ecosystem, in such a way that deciphering the best formula to deal with the President of the Republic is still a difficult blunderbuss to solve. Faced with this, there are those who maintain that the business representation bodies should stand up to Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The president of the Mexican Business Council does not think like this: “The mission of every businessman, businesswoman, is to generate value. And the best way to do what we know how to do is to let us do it and not constantly change the rules for us. So, what the business organizations have to do is, first of all, have a dialogue, if you don’t have this with the authority you can’t reach agreements and thus benefit the productive activity. It is not about slapping, yes, of course, making the position of private initiative clear and I think we have made that clear at all times. Now, if what they want to see is some representative of the private initiative who immolates himself in front of the National Palace, they are not going to see that.”

Point three: the fiscal guillotine. The tax reform will remain buried and the Tax Administration Service (SAT) will keep the strategy sharp against large taxpayers. Thus, in times when money is scarce, the government is very clear that it is not possible to get money out of stones. But yes to big companies.

The leader of the businessmen maintains that this does not cause him insomnia: “Large companies in general continue and will continue to pay our taxes as it should be. If there is someone who is evading taxes or evading, then yes, worry, but those of us who like to sleep peacefully, which are the majority of large companies, do not worry about that. The news that there will be no fiscal changes between now and the end of this administration is positive. Now, it is possible to change certain laws on the tax issue to incorporate Mexicans who today do not pay taxes; it is said that the informal economy represents 50% or more of the economy, so there is a great opportunity to make reforms to incorporate the base that does not pay taxes and incorporate them into the formality of the country”.

Point four: the stones in the path of the T-MEC. Differences in any commercial agreement are the rule. In times of NAFTA they happened, but now with the T-MEC the tension has intensified with the electrical chapter. Will the consultations fail and give way to a dispute panel? In a few years the review of the trade agreement will come and, perhaps, we could arrive badly at that moment.

Del Valle Perochena is optimistic: “One of the most positive changes from NAFTA to the TMEC is precisely this dispute resolution mechanism. It seems very good to me that it is applied, that the consultation period is carried out and from what we have seen these days it seems that it is going well and that conclusions can be reached that could be very good. Nobody wants to reach the panel period because the main affected by possible sanctions by the Americans against Mexico are the companies. I do not see the TMEC at risk, what I do believe is that we must continue working so that when the review takes place we have a much stronger TMEC and there is no one who questions it”.

Point five: what to do with China? The Asian giant is, for many, the most powerful economy but, even though it is one of Mexico’s main trading partners, the relationship has not been squeezed as desired; the opportunities are there, not all the juice has been taken from them and the momentum can vanish.

The president of the CMN concludes: “China, for the Americans, is a concern. For us it is an opportunity because that relocation of production in China is coming to the region and a lot to Mexico. The thing is, it could be so much more. In the conversations that we have had between entrepreneurs from the three countries, we talked about the resilience of supply chains for North America. That is why we have to focus on strengthening the southeast because the country’s potential for development and growth is there. The project of the Transisthmian Train of the federal government is the most important of all because it will be a detonator for the development of the country in the next 30 years; it is not just a train that goes from one side to the other, you are talking about the infrastructure of industrial parks, ports, railways, highways, airports…”.


The epilogue of this conversation is inspired by the schizophrenia towards the presidential succession of 2024. What profile should the successor of Andrés Manuel López Obrador have? This is the look of Antonio del Valle: “Whoever comes has to be a person aware of the reality of our country, of the great advantages and the backwardness that we live in. In Mexico, we have lived for many years snubbing or even ignoring the great needs that many Mexicans have and that is not valid. We have the capacity and the tools to make a dynamic Mexico, full of opportunities, reach those who do not have access to any opportunity”.

Editor’s note: Jonathán Torres is managing partner of BeGood, Atelier de Reputación and Storydoing; business journalist, media consultant, former editorial director of Forbes Media Latam. Follow him on and on Twitter as . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.

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