Where are Mexican industrial parks headed?

  • In 2017, through a roadmap based on collaborative strategic planning inspired by the Cambridge Road mapping methodology, the Mexican Association of Industrial Parks (AMPIP) clearly defined the steps to accelerate the evolution of industrial parks in Mexico, in line with the new global trends.

  • A few decades ago, the constant in the world was change. Today we continue to see substantial changes, but the difference is the speed with which they occur. A good example was the evolution from the first analog telephone in 1955 to the first cell phone in 1983, and later, the creation of the first smartphone and social networks in 1997, and their constant transformation in a matter of months.

    The digital era, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality as part of new technologies have brought a new generation of industries, products, automated services, and fast connectivity.

    Today we see robots in production lines, new quality standards, instant communication through intelligent devices and virtual platforms such as Zoom, the processing of large amounts of data, and even the possibility of visiting a distant place through virtual reality.

    In the 1990s, the great discussion began in the multilateral arena on climate change, culminating in creating the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2012, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro.

    "These major changes are known as 'megatrends,' which impact humanity in social, political, economic and technological aspects, and industrial parks cannot be left behind. In 2018, AMPIP, which currently represents more than 370 industrial parks located throughout Mexico, was the first non-profit organization in the world to take actions towards a new generation of smart and sustainable industrial parks," states Dr. Claudia Ávila Connelly, executive director of AMPIP.

    Megatrends in industrial real estate

    The executive director of AMPIP mentions that in their corporate operations, industrial real estate developers in Mexico are now considering aspects like environmental care, social responsibility, and corporate governance (ESG criteria).

    "Among other aspects, ESG criteria evaluate the existence of environmental protection policies, building certifications, water and energy savings, waste management, and mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as social policies on diversity, health, wellness, and security, as well as the policies on the governing bodies, regulatory compliance, and reporting methodologies," she explains.

    Investment decisions are now taking into consideration ESG criteria. An example is the emergence of stock market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the MSCI ACWI Sustainable Index, or the Euro Stock 40 Sustainability Index. According to experts, there is evidence that ESG companies are more profitable because, as "Responsible investments", this kind of companies mitigate risks and create long-term value by taking care of the environment and positively impact society.

    Dr. Claudia Ávila Connelly points out that another megatrend affecting the industry is the insecurity worldwide due to organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, counterfeit goods, illegal migration, and more recently, the pandemic and virtual hackers, among others. "Faced with this reality, global companies have found it necessary to develop business continuity plans to mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations, while safeguarding the integrity of people, assets, and information."

    The use of international standards has given companies breathing space to deal with this type of threat. The Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) is one of the most widely recognized standards created by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in 2005. Its purpose is to strengthen the security of international trade to shield it from possible risks under an alliance between customs authorities and the private sector.

    Companies that participate in global supply chains voluntarily submit to the AEO program's criteria to obtain certification as "trustworthy companies." In addition to contributing to international security, AEO companies receive essential benefits such as customs facilitation, tax incentives, and market differentiation. In other words, they become part of the world security map, making themselves present as part of this global initiative. According to the WCO, today, there are around 46,000 certified companies worldwide.

    In 2018, Mexico became the first country worldwide to create the AEO program for industrial parks due to AMPIP's initiative to the Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT) and the WCO's. Two years later, the AMPIP created the Secure Industrial Park Program as a prelude to the AEO for industrial parks," Mrs. Ávila Connelly comments.

    Innovation is also an essential factor in the evolution of industrial parks. We are encouraging our members to go for digital transformation in their companies beyond 4.0 technology. "It is about breaking paradigms. We need to think about other possibilities to attend to our customers. With the use of technology, we can create smart industrial parks to be more competitive. For instance, by promoting energy and water savings, the use of clean and renewable energies, virtual promotion, or data analytics to identify patterns and improve processes, as well as digital contracts based on blockchain, among other alternatives," declares the executive director of AMPIP.

    She concludes that industrial parks have all the potential to be true catalysts for development in Mexico, in line with the megatrends that are changing the way we live and think in the world. "Hence the urgency of pushing for the new generation of smart and sustainable industrial parks, and AMPIP's commitment to achieving this."

  • www.ampip.org.mx