Xavier Orendáin De Obeso

President, Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce

Changing SMEs' mindsets is crucial to grow their businesses and internationalization; we need to show them the world. Although Guadalajara is a great city that has so much to offer, like great weather, food, and people, there is an attractive world out there waiting for us. Second, we must open bridges to the world. In 2018, we will go to China for a mission to attend its first expo for people who want to export to China. It is about changing the mindset and opening bridges to the world. We have many bridges to the US, wall or no wall. However, we need to open more bridges to the south to our partners in Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, and so on, as well as with Europe and Asia. In terms of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and digitalization, we also have a partnership with Microsoft so companies can transform their processes to join the digital era. In sum, these actions all together promote investment. In terms of tangible results, we want to grow the number of affiliates and show them a chamber that is young, dynamic, and open to new technologies. We are working to refresh the chamber's image to a closer, more friendly space for young people and all our members, and to digitalize enterprises.


José Arias Frías

President, Chamber of the Footwear Industry of Jalisco (CICEJ)

We manufacture 70 million pairs of shoes per year that are catered toward the upper-middle market segment. The overall industry focuses on women's footwear, and in Jalisco state alone, we produce 97% of women's shoes for boutiques. In terms of job creation, the industry created around 21,000 direct jobs in 2017. Out of the 250 million pairs produced at the national level, Jalisco produces 30%. We have 900 established companies, the majority of which are SMEs. Around 6% of Jalisco's production is exported, most of them to maquilas such as Zara, Aldo, Nine West, Naturalizer, and Steve Madden. We have been training and sensitizing the shoe industry because we see great growth potential and positivity in the market. We support our affiliates with workshops that are aimed at developing an export culture by training managers in foreign trade knowledge. We also offer detailed information about the specific market, because each country has different rules regarding footwear. Finally, we carry out trade missions to search for niches, countries, and specific buyers. We have done extremely well in Central America and Colombia over the last four years. In addition, due to our rising popularity, specialized buyers in France and the US have shown great interest.


Jaime Reyes Robles

Secretary for Innovation, Science, and Technology (SICYT), Jalisco

We need to look past the traditional education model and aim for a more practical, pragmatic, and flexible model—one targeted toward the demands of the business sector. We need to revamp and rethink the educational model in two ways. First, we need to bring the model and teachings in line with the rapidly changing world. Second, we need to reassess the linkage between the academic sector and the private sector in terms of getting these two areas working together. We need to speed up economic and social development, which is what we focus on at SICYT. Jalisco started as an electronic cluster focused on pure manufacturing. At that time, the Mexican economy was a closed economy, and our advantages were cheap labor and our proximity to the US. These factors are not the only ones. Today, talent and the ecosystem are the main attractors of foreign and national investment. We need to attract more investment to continue to grow our start-ups and digitally transform SMEs. Jalisco is a state of SMEs, and nearly 98% of the legal economic units in the state are in need of culture change. We have several major events designed to target development. For example, our Talent Land event over Easter attracted 33,000 programmers, developers, entrepreneurs, major corporations, and investors.


Pablo Lemus

Mayor, Zapopan

We have tried to build a government that has a balance between social initiatives and the corporate sector. In the state of Jalisco, there are 125 municipalities, and Zapopan has become the economic engine of the state. We generate 30% of the state economy and create a third of all the jobs and investment. Even though we are not the state capital, we have an extremely important economic dynamic derived from our geographic coverage. We are eight times the size of Guadalajara, the capital of the state. As a result, we have a diversity of economic activities, ranging from commercial and real estate to industrial, agricultural, and forestry. We initiated a regulation improvement process and reduced the number of days required to start operations for a company in Zapopan from 47 days to 48 hours. Furthermore, the base of the city's economy is SMEs, and we have managed to create digital tools to allow licenses to be renewed online and also to approve new licenses for commercial establishments such as butchers, shoe stores, restaurants, and so on. We have also started the largest infrastructure project in the history of the city. We increased our revenue with a more efficient tax collection system, reducing our expenses, and using the available resources in investments.


Alejandro Moreno

President, Expo Guadalajara

Expo Guadalajara is the second-largest venue in Latin America and the largest in Mexico. There is only one larger in Bogotá and another emerging in São Paulo. In addition, it has the largest proximity tourism infrastructure, which is an asset that people appreciate. Without considering the 96,000sqm we have for rent, within a 2-km radius there are about 4,200 hotel rooms, providing an adequate infrastructure for meetings. The hotel infrastructure of this city, which has 23,000 rooms, is an important factor when it comes to large exhibitions and congresses. There are 10 macro events in our country and Expo Guadalajara has eight of those. The International Book Fair has been with us for 31 years. At the same time, other exhibitions have been added, such as the National Association of Self-service and Department Stores and Alimentaria, which is an exhibition that only fits here. We have Expotransporte, whose demand for hotel and peripheral services are not covered elsewhere. In addition to permanent exhibitions, every year we have smaller events. The venue can be used for more than one event at the same time, especially in the high season. Currently, Expo Guadalajara is working to attract more congresses and conventions to grow in that market.


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