Interview: Gustavo Puente Orozco
What regulatory changes could further improve the business environment in San Luis Potosí and ensure the state’s competitiveness globally?
GUSTAVO PUENTE: The government is working on tackling economic regulatory complexities by improving transparency and efficiency in the public sector. In May 2019 the government issued the State and Municipal Regulatory Improvement Law, with the objective of creating the right business environment to attract investment to San Luis Potosí and promote a series of different initiatives. One such initiative is a programme aimed at simplifying processing times and reducing the social costs imposed on entrepreneurs and companies established in San Luis Potosí. Another initiative established by the government is the System for the Rapid Opening of Companies, which allows the administration to speed up processing so that low-risk enterprises can start operations within three days. Additionally, the Simplified Construction Window programme streamlines the issuance of construction permits for commercial buildings smaller than 1500 sq metres.
The strategic sectors that are attracting greater levels of investment and experiencing significant growth include agriculture, food processing, renewable energies, natural gas, tourism, automotive, logistics and electrical appliances.
In order to facilitate and promote job creation and a favourable business framework for investors and entrepreneurs, the government has enhanced the collaboration between educational institutions and enterprises to develop the necessary skills to meet market needs. It has also fostered the use of new technologies in industrial processes across a wide variety of productive sectors of the economy. As of early September 2019 this set of initiatives had attracted more than $6.9bn in San Luis Potosí and motivated the state to work on boosting its competitiveness standards to international levels.
Currently, the challenge is to maintain these existing standards and take them to the next level. Greater digitalisation and connectivity will be required in order to keep up with the consistent advancements being made in manufacturing, agro-industry and services. Keeping up to date with technology will also improve the state’s productivity. Several companies established in San Luis Potosí, including BMW, Bosch and Mercurio Tecnologia, have already incorporated new technologies into their operations, such as the internet of things, big data, 3D printing and the cloud.
How are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in San Luis Potosí being supported and further integrated into global value chains?
PUENTE: Competition is no longer seen as a rivalry developed between companies, but rather between global supply chains to deliver products and services to the right destinations on time. With this in mind, the government of San Luis Potosí is focused on enabling SMEs to establish the connections and conducive associations to boost skills training and build a collaborative framework that can strengthen the local productive network.
The Strategy to Support SMEs and Entrepreneurs, which is being implemented by the Secretariat of Economic Development, aims to have a positive impact on 6000 entrepreneurs and over 800 SMEs. This initiative, in conjunction with other efforts, demonstrates the government’s goal to better support, promote and facilitate a conducive environment for business development in the state. Specifically, the San Luis Potosí government is working to strengthen the local supply chain and address the challenges to improve the competitiveness of local SMEs within the global market, allowing them to increase their potential as main suppliers for national and multinational companies, as well as boost the contribution of local and national content to Mexico’s economy.
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