A group of exporters from Jalisco plan to establish a logistical hub in Honduras to help drive expansion into the Central American and South American markets.
The hub will be installed at Puerto Cortés, a port city on the Caribbean coast located 50 kilometers north of San Pedro Sula.
“We changed [the location of] the hub because Panama, where it was initially going to be set up, is renovating the Puerto Colón Free Trade Zone and Puerto Cortés offered us what we needed,” said Miguel Ángel Landeros, president of the western branch of the Mexican Foreign Trade Council (Comce).
“It’s a very modern port that’s practically in the middle of Central America. That’s where we’ll start operating,” he added.
Landeros said there are currently 19 Jalisco companies involved in the Comce-backed hub project who are seeking to tap into the southern markets.
The logistical hub will mainly benefit small and medium-sized Jalisco companies, giving them a warehouse that will allow them to ship their products more quickly and efficiently to different parts of the region.
According to Comce statistics, the seven Central American countries import products from the United States with a value of US $50 million per year.
By having a logistical hub in Honduras, the Jalisco companies hope to take some of that market for themselves.
Mexico currently lags well behind the U.S. in terms of exports to Central America.
For example, Honduras buys US $9 billion worth of products from the latter annually compared to just $US600 million from Mexico.
As part of their expansion into Central America, some of the Jalisco companies are also interested in setting up new production plants there.
The companies are planning to carry out trade missions to several Central American countries next year to strengthen their relations in the region and ensure that the hub project is a success.
Landeros said that in the first eight months of 2018, the value of all Jalisco’s exports was just under US $35.5 billion and the expectation is that the year will end with similar figures to last year when exports totaled US $48.4 billion.
For comparison, that figure puts it on a par with the states of Florida or Ohio, whose exports are worth only slightly more than those of Jalisco.
The Central American expansion is expected to help grow Jalisco’s export economy, which is made up of companies in 19 different sectors including agriculture, food and beverages, technology, auto parts, furniture and jewelry.
“Expectations for next year are very good because we will continue to broaden our [trade] links with other international markets,” Landeros said.
Source: El Economista (sp)