Interview: Cassiano De Stefano
Describe the advantages of establishing or expanding a business in the state of Hidalgo.
CASSIANO DE STEFANO: When a company seeks to invest a significant amount of resources in a particular location, there are several factors to consider, and having a government structure that is both diligent and efficient is a good first step. The government can help connect private companies to local communities, a relationship that is crucial for the success of large-scale projects, and therefore for the state’s overall socio-economic development. Hidalgo is broadening its area of influence, and the government and local communities are committed to easing the business environment and facilitating companies’ operations in the state. Furthermore, Hidalgo is strategically located and has developed the necessary infrastructure, including road and rail networks, to move cargo efficiently from one point to another within the country, especially from the Bajío industrial region to Mexico City. Hidalgo’s logistics enable companies to easily and conveniently access two oceans, and the location is perfect for the development of renewable energy sources.
What are the strengths of Mexico’s beer market amid increasing global competition?
DE STEFANO: Beer is an important part of Mexican culture. Mexico grows its own barley, which is essential for the success of the beer industry given the importance of a close relationship with both suppliers and export markets. Not only does this relationship reduce dependency on external markets and factors, decreasing operational costs, but it also contributes to the strengthening of the local market’s overall productivity.
The demand for a wider variety of beer flavours is increasing as consumer palates become more sophisticated, knowledgeable and demanding. As a result, market offerings have expanded substantially, and domestic and global demand are on the rise. There are many opportunities in different segments, such as premium and craft beer, where development is at an early stage. Therefore, Mexico is a growing and sustainable market for the international beer industry, which has significantly increased its competitiveness and serves as an excellent platform for local consumers as well as global markets.
How competitive are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local farmers in Hidalgo, and how will they help sustain agro-industry?
DE STEFANO: Local farmers and SMEs in Hidalgo are well prepared to contribute to the supply chain in an efficient and productive manner. Although they continue to experience financial impediments to growth – predominantly in regards to access to technology – the government and private companies are engaging in programmes that promote the use of technology in an effort to modernise their facilities and foster productivity, while also reducing their environmental impact. In terms of the beer industry, technological innovations have contributed to the increased quality and quantity of barley production, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the reputation and sales of Mexican beer.
The private sector is also acting as a guarantee alongside banking institutions, providing access to credit for SMEs to grow their business and strengthen their supply capabilities under favourable conditions. This virtuous circle creates a number of opportunities for both suppliers and manufacturers, and it has been facilitated by the active involvement of the government in engaging and linking the interests of all of Hidalgo’s economic, regulatory and social actors. Furthermore, the government has helped to develop a large pool of highly skilled workers, whose input will support long-lasting growth in the state’s agro-industry.
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