What main growth opportunities has Evonik identified in Mexico?
Especially in 2020, we gained a stronger understanding of prevailing market dynamics, plus greater flexibility shown to opt for the more sustainable directions in supporting our business partners. We are active in all sectors of production and manufacturing, and many markets were going through a redefinition, a review of the value chain, and the need to work regionally. We are also seeing a rise of foreign companies entering Mexico, especially from Asia but also North America and Europe. From a production perspective, in the chemical industry Mexico remains a challenging market. Due to infrastructure challenges, not having a reliable local partner in the petrochemical industry to support the development of the private sector is problematic. The chemical industry still has growth potential in Mexico, and there is a lack of raw material, energy, and infrastructure essential to stimulating growth. Meanwhile, in our organization, we continue supporting our global and regional agenda towards having a more resilient, sustainable, and diverse specialized chemical portfolio. Our actions confirm our resilience and success over the past two years in Mexico, despite the pandemic, in specialized chemical products and the importance of sustainability, the application of our products, and the benefits they bring to customers' value chains.
How do your next-generation solutions help companies transition toward more sustainable operations?
We aim to respond to market needs, and such products fulfill this in terms of environmental sustainability and are an answer to customers' agendas toward environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). In terms of our own footprint, we follow our well-established agenda and corporate short-, medium- and long-term goals. We work to optimize our processes and systems, including i.e. reduction of CO2 emissions, the usage of alternative energy sources, our projects around hydrogen, and so on. In addition, we refer to what our products can actually do and deliver to our customers, including the positive impact they can have for our customers in meeting the goals of each organization concerning sustainability and the environment, among others. This is where the “next-generation products" come in. And these products and technologies could be existing ones from our portfolio but showing new applications or new markets. Mexico today shows potential in the area of R&D and applied technology not only for local manufacturing but also international networks. Companies that are able to engage along the full value chain they are participating in are the ones to succeed.
What are the main objectives of the company for the year?
The conclusion is to finalize the execution of projects that are currently running. We plan to keep supporting primarily the health and well-being of our organization and secure safety and security at all levels. All in all, it will ensure business continuity and success. We want to continue working closely with our customers and partners, always looking for long-term commitments, so we can also justify regional investments to guarantee growth for many Mexican market sectors. We see strong growth in manufacturing in not only automotive and aerospace and all players along those value chains but also interesting developments beyond agriculture, like personal and home care, becoming net exporters as well. Today's global challenges associated to supply chain and logistics is a catalyst to become more efficient through digital solutions. We are keen to continue establishing a meaningful dialogue with the different stakeholders toward a more circular economy. In 2022, we hope to have a more productive agenda at national level with local authorities. Current initiatives and goals of the chemical industry do not conflict with national government's plans, although we have to better align the actions to be more effective. The new, enhanced free trade agreement with US and Canada, the relocation of supply chains, the nearshoring, the China+1 question for US and the learnings from the pandemic are putting Mexico in front of an historical opportunity. It depends on us if and how we capitalize it.