At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.
In Episode #60, we are joined by Hector Correa, of Smart Strikes Consulting.
- Hector’s jump from computer science to consulting.
- How a focus on tech solutions might distract from deeper inefficiencies.
- The advantages Mexico presents to foreign companies.
- Misconceptions concerning safety issues in Mexico.
- Mexico’s creative industries.
- Listening, and watching recommendations from:
- “The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, by Nicholas Wade
- Disunited Nations: Succeeding in a World Where No One Gets Along by Peter Zeihan
We’ll see you next week for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Andrew House to discuss his experience working in Canada’s national security establishment (and more).
This podcast audio was transcribed by an automatic transcriber.
Fred Rocafort 0:07
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort.
Jonathan Bench 0:37
and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.
Fred Rocafort 1:02
We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.
Hector Correa is a business consultant and technology professional with 20 plus years of experience in designing and managing the implementation of technical solutions and industries as diverse as utility providers banking, marketing, retail beverage, government and construction. He works with cxos from the US, Canada and Mexico to help them find new opportunities, expand to new markets and tackle the challenges of multinational business environments. During his consulting career, Hector has had the privilege of working with some of the most important companies in the US and Latin America, such as group of FEMSA Walmart, Kraft Foods by Noda Tyson Foods, and Sara Lee, just to name a few. He has extensive technology and business experience that includes designing technology solutions for financial organizations, coordinating the implementation of company wide e RP systems, managing EA AI and BPM implementations and leading technology information initiatives for large organizations in both private and public sectors. He holds a Master of Science and computer science from the State University of New York, and he’s a Fulbright Scholar. In his spare time, he works with nonprofit organizations in Mexico and the United States to create educational opportunities for young students from disadvantaged communities. Hector, Welcome to Harris Bricken’s Global Law and Business.
Hector Correa 2:47
Thank you, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.
Jonathan Bench 2:51
We’re glad to have you with us, you have an educational background largely in computer science. So we’d love to know initially What inspired you to go from that into the consulting world?
Hector Correa 3:00
Well, you know, I’m, I’m a person that gets easily bored. And I explain what led me to consulting, you know, out of school, when I finished my undergrad and my Masters, in between those two periods, I had a chance to work for Motorola, this was, you know, a long time ago. And, you know, I quickly learned that I needed to jump into areas where I will have constant challenges and learn about constantly new things. So when I finished my graduate degree, when I finished my master’s, I had the opportunity to go into a technology consulting firm. And that was wonderful because it allowed me to, you know, have a project in retail, and then have a client that is in finance, and then have a client that is in consumer packaged goods. So even though I gravitated around the technology space a lot. Because of my education, it allowed me to jump into very different business verticals, and learn about, you know, processes, problems and the way business is done in many different areas. So that’s what inspired me to go into consulting, I am that kind of person that needs to start learning to keep learning new things every time that I go into a project with a client.
Fred Rocafort 4:30
Hector, you serve clients in a wide variety of industries. And I’m curious about how those different clients differ from one another, but also perhaps, in which ways are they similar, always eager to compare notes with those who have the opportunity like we do to work with, with clients that represent various industry. So I’d love to hear your insight into that.
Hector Correa 4:53
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it is really fascinating and I’ve always been ever since I can remember, you know college and in my professional career, I’ve always been fascinated about, you know, how people have different points of view, how different industries, you know, define themselves and how clients actually define their problems, when you’re when you’re first engaging with clients in different industries. You know, it’s very interesting how clients in different industries define their problems, whether it whether it is related to technology or not, because over over the course of my professional development, you know, I started very heavily in technology, but then we started when I started growing into roles that will require more business understanding, and also, you know, dealing more with business problems that technology could solve. But at the same time, you know, growing into that space also gives you a different perspective. So to answer your question, you know, what have I found about consulting that is same or different in the clients that I serve,
well, I would like to say that some of the commonalities in the different industries that I’ve worked in the different clients that I’ve worked with is that there is always a tendency to think that technology is the solution for for the problems that they’re facing. When you go as a consultant, you engage with a client and say, I have this problem, and I need technology to solve it. Well, you know, that’s pretty much the first thing that they expect you to do is say, Okay, well, let me take a look at what technology was best for you. But what we do is not just try to understand how, you know, take the problem, as stated by a client, they just try to implement the solution, but actually, the deeper into the source of the problem. And in most cases, and these, and we have seen this over and over again, all across industries. In many times, there is a deeper problem, there is a process a business process, or there is the way they do things. You know, it’s just been around since 50 years ago, when technology was not available. And, and they’re just carrying inefficiencies, or they’re carrying business processes that are not suited for the for the reality now. And they think that technology is going to solve that. In some cases, it does, technology actually does give them a solution. But in many cases, it is a combination of both, you need to fix a business process at the same time that you implement technology to make it more efficient. And, and I see that that’s a pattern that you can see in finance that you see in retail that you see in construction, and you see energy in the public sector. Well, you know, that’s, that’s even more common to when you go into public sector and think that you will just implement this technology and things will work just work smoothly. So that is what what i think it’s it’s common that we tend to see technology as the solution to the problem. But most times, it also requires a adjustment or analysis analyses of the current process, their current business process in order to find actually a solution. That is not to backfire. Because in some cases, when you don’t do that, what you’re just automated chaos, right? If the business process is broken, and you just make it faster, then you just gonna have to deal with problems. A lot faster than that without technology. And what is different, you know, in the clients Well, there are certain industries that I’ve seen that are more proactive to implement technology solutions, or the industry is a little more adverse to changes. And then, you know, the process of implementing a solution, it does require a lot more of change management. The perfect example will be government, not because of color in itself, just because there’s a lot of sometimes a lot of regulatory restrictions or constraints. There’s union constraints. So when engaging in clients with the power in the public sector, there is a lot with a lot more resistance to implementing new technologies or new business processes or change in itself, just because of the structure of how the government works not because the people in government or you know, ai are themselves resistant to resisting change, just because of the structure the way they call on the works.
Private sector is usually more friendly to accept change. But it also depends on some industries, the construction industry is very adverse to change in general, not just a, you know, any particular client or so but construction industry medical in the medical field is also very adverse to change when it comes, when we’re talking about technologies that are not actually facing the patient. Any administration solution, administrative solution that you want to bring into a into the healthcare or the medical space usually is a little, there’s a little bit more work to do to be successful in change management. That’s what I in general, right? It doesn’t mean that I want to generalize these industries, but from an from model, 20 years working in many different areas, that’s, that’s what I’ve seen,
Jonathan Bench 10:52
It’s very interesting how you describe it in the technology is only one component of your work, I assume that at some, on some jobs, it’s probably the easiest part of what you’ve been asked to do. And because the clients have asked you to come in and help them wanting you to focus on technology, and you see broader systemic issues that need to be addressed, I can imagine that you get a bit of resistance when you’re when you’re doing that. So let’s turn to Mexico, we’d love to hear what are some of the advantages for companies that decide to set up operations in Mexico opportunities, some of the difficulties they may face? And how you help them navigate around these obstacles?
Hector Correa 11:29
Yes, absolutely. Well, you know, some, some of the opportunities or advantages are repeated in many different forms. So I’ll just be brief about those, whether you’re talking about you know, production, if you want to send a production plan to Mexico, or if you want to outsource some of your business processes to Mexico, or, or you want to have a division, whether it’s a design division or Technology Division from your company operate in Mexico, some some of the most common advantages that you hear is what is of course, the price right, salaries are lower in Mexico. And therefore, you know, you have a team of people doing the same work in Mexico is much, much more cost efficient than it is in the United States. So you know, that there is an advantage of almost anyone who is in this business space will mention timezone is also another one. If you have a an office in New York, and you know, you have and you have a plant in Mexicali, which is on the opposite side, you’re still dealing with the same timezone divisions as you do in the US, right, the East Coast versus West Coast. And if, in most cases, you are only about an hour difference from your location, in Mexico, but I will actually like to emphasize one that across my experience is always mentioned, but I don’t think is usually understood or or quantified properly, which is the cultural similarities between Mexico and the United States. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to work as a consultant, and also as a client, with teams from many different places, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico and Canada. And we always tend to minimize the cultural differences between your home office in the United States and the other location where you’re trying to outsource operations. But at the end, it turns out that it can have a very big impact on how your you know, your you the work is performed. And this is where I like to emphasize that there’s a lot of affinity in Mexico. maquiladoras have existed in Mexico since the 1960s, late 1960s, early 1970s. So we’ve had about 60-50 years or more of a headstart from compared to other locations in working with American companies working under the managerial style of the United States, you know, their their quality standards, the way to do business. So, that is one of the advantages that companies you know, sort of say, Oh, yeah, yeah, but you know, I can I can work with guys in India, they speak English. Yes, they do. But their culture is very different. Very, very different. And once once you, you start trying to get that rhythm in, in your daily business life and try to work with people in other countries that sometimes is a bigger obstacle than you anticipate in the beginning, right. So same can be said about China’s South America. That is a subtle difference, but it has a great impact. So those are, those are the most common advantages there are for companies that want to set up operations in Mexico. The difficulties while trying to navigate the legal and financial system in Mexico, the from the legal standpoint, you know, Mexico as a country has, by federal law, many benefits that you have to provide your employees if you hire them directly in Mexico. So if you open an office in Mexico, and you set up a legal entity in Mexico, while you have to deal with, you know, some benefits that you have to provide your, your employees by federal mandate that you’re not used to, in the United States, the fiscal system, the way you report taxes, the way you pay taxes is at least a little different. Those are difficulties, I think that you may face but you know, nothing that you cannot overcome with the right partner or the right console in Mexico. And there’s many, many firms, and there’s many groups in Mexico that are experts at doing that.
I think I will, I will say, in general, those are some of the difficulties that people face. The other difficulties are more, you know, perception. Sometimes we have a vision of Mexico, that is not accurate. But you know, those, we always like to attack those conceptions of those visions of Mexico in a very effective way, by bringing people over to Mexico and show them what they’re gonna be facing, which is mostly favorable. But we try to build a bridge to help them see directly what it’s like in the technology centers, and the technology locations that are in Mexico. And I’m not just acknowledging that it’s also industrial production or any other business area.
Jonathan Bench 17:10
Would you say that it’s easier for certain companies in certain industries and others to expand into Mexico? Or? Or is it more on a company by company basis on how adaptable they can be and willing, you know, open minded to the way business is done in Mexico?
Hector Correa 17:26
Well, there are several industries that are, there is a lot easier for them. For example, you know, automotive and aerospace, right, the automotive industry has had a presence in Mexico, for decades. So, if you are a supplier in the automotive industry, and you want to outsource part of your operation to Mexico, well, you know, there is already a long list of resources, and groups and offices that that will help you set up an operation in that in that industry, aerospace medical devices, you know, those are also industries where there’s a big presence already in Mexico. So, you know, they say that the recipe is already written for you, if you are in those industries, and you want to call me to Mexico and set up an operation here. There are others that are not as common, you know, for example, some some financial industries may have some difficulty saying in Mexico, especially because of, you know, recent legislation changes in Mexico. And so, in that sense, yes, there are some industries, some market segments and business areas, which do have a little bit of an advantage just because there’s already a very solid ecosystem that support their activities, right. And as as, as companies themselves now, if we go down to the company level, you know, some companies just by the way, they’ve done business, you know, they are already probably doing having outsourced operations in other parts of the world. So for them, of course, the transition if you already have a plant in China or Pakistan, Thailand or the Philippines and then you just want to move another area or open a new production line in Mexico, are you ready your business culture your internal culture in the company is already prepare right for for the and outsource, outsource part of your operations to Mexico. All the companies are very local or national, meaning that they maintain their operations in the US so for them to take that first step into not just Mexico but anywhere outside of the US take that big step of setting up An operation outside of the US, then it will logically be no more difficult from the cultural perspective inside the company. But nowadays, you know, and especially after COVID, a lot of those barriers have been demolished. You know, there was a lot of resistance for many companies about even people working remotely, whether it was in the US or abroad. But, you know, last year has proven that well, it was more of a preference rather than a real limitation that many companies face, you know, from people working outside of their office space.
Fred Rocafort 20:41
Hector, I just want to highlight one thing you mentioned, that’s the cultural similarities, I think that is, in order to really appreciate how much of a factor that is, and specifically, how similar the cultures are between Mexico and the US, you you do need, right, that experience of having worked in other places, having conversations with business persons who are looking at Mexico now, you sometimes see that it’s almost as if they had a revelation A times where they realize that it doesn’t have to be that difficult, right? I mean, maybe for for a couple of decades, they’ve been working in markets like China, maybe they’ve been in, in other places in Asia, they just assumed that that there were going to be all these difficulties present, that in many cases don’t really have to be present. And I think that that’s part of what they’re finding when, when they go to Mexico. And they realize, you know, there are issues that we have to deal with. But there are a lot of things that are not a problem anymore. I do want to go back to some of these perceptions that you talked about. And these are concerns that come up, right, this is a very typical conversation we have with clients, it’s like, yeah, there’s a lot of things that attract me about Mexico, it would be a great place from one perspective, maybe we can dig a little deeper into this. And maybe we can take advantage of this opportunity here to address some of those issues. I know, for example, that issues of safety are a concern for many people. And I have looked at that some of the information and I try to explain to people that I talked to that, as you mentioned that the perception might not be correct. But why don’t we take it a bit a bit further. And maybe you could speak to that? I mean, for a foreign company, going to Mexico setting up operations, they’re taking into account the different places that they could go to within Mexico? How much of a concern, is there in reality? How much of it is just hype and exaggeration? on the part of the press? Is it possible for a foreign company to appropriately manage those issues, if they choose the right place in Mexico, and they have the right policies in place?
Hector Correa 23:02
First, you know, thanks for going a little deeper into that particular topic, which I think is very important. And sometimes we just, you know, stay on the surface. So, you know, before I go into the issue of specifically about safety, I would like to very briefly mentioned all the things that, you know, many companies in the United States don’t realize how important that is. And I will take the example of a manufacturing company, right? I don’t think there’s any place in Mexico where you will not find people, experts in quality assurance methods, whether you call that six sigma, you know, just in time, all of those things, you know, and I’m just just talking, you know, at the managerial level, but you know, the, all those quality measures, all those quality systems, and all the culture that you need to create in your workforce, to support all those operations that result in quality, you know, for in the Mexican business environment that is, or daily bread, right, that is so bread and butter. You won’t find a location in Mexico where you you will struggle to find personnel that is very familiar with that. I mean, there is no place in Mexico where people are not familiar with any of those standards, that many people in the manufacturing space expect. I don’t know how easy that is in other places. For what I do can tell you is that because of the regulatory industry presence in Mexico since the late 60s, that is his powerful culture right now. Right? You don’t have to deal with any or anticipate that you will need to invest in training. Or that you will need to invest in your workforce to meet your quality standards. It’s a given. And that just that particular aspect, I think, especially when it comes to manufacturing, what can make a big difference between your efficiency in production location in Mexico versus another country? Now going into the topic of security? Well, yes, you know, there there, there are some, there’s been a change in the country in the last 20 years, maybe a little bit more this there, there is an increase in, in the violence that you see on TV. I guess the misconception and, you know, this is a topic that I also have to address with my clients on a constant basis. Since, you know, I started in a consulting business in the early 2000s. But it is interesting to know that even with statistics that we have had in Mexico during the last few years, when you when you look at the violent events, per capita, Mexico is still the safest country in Latin America, there is a higher there is a higher rate of violence in Colombia, even though nobody talks about Colombia violence anymore. But just because if this new cycle expired, it doesn’t mean that the violence in Colombia has disappeared. Colombia is a more violent country, when it comes to those numbers than Mexico, or you’re in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and my God, Brazil is times more than than what we experienced in Mexico. Unfortunately, you know, what we see is just the total numbers. And I can relate this to COVID, you know, that the way that information was presented, during this pandemic, we get the big numbers, right with this is the total number of deaths, this is the total number of violent events in Mexico or in this place or in that place. But when you start making comparisons, and when you start taking into account, the numbers, the percentages per capita, it gives you a little different perspective that and that’s not to say that there is not a problem in Mexico. But it’s also another thing that people don’t realize is that these, these events happen in very specific places. There’s about two or three places where 95% of these violent events take place.
And the rest of the country, it’s it doesn’t is not affected by them for the most part. So there, there needs to be more done from the Mexican side to clear the air, you know, clear this mole from that so that the real numbers are presented. But I also is our job as consultants to work with our clients and explain, you know, well, yes, there’s these hotspots, as it happens in almost any country, there’s, there’s hotspots, like I wouldn’t like to be in the Southside of Chicago up to 5pm on any given day of the year. You know, that’s I lived in Chicago for more than 20 years. But there’s also very nice places in Chicago where you can, you know, go and visit without an issue. So it is part of our job to clear the air in that regard and say, Well, if you’re looking to set up this operation, well, not only this is a place where you won’t have any safety issues. But also this is a place where you will find the right talent, you can establish, you know, alliances with local universities, if you need, you know, professional talent, you need college graduates. Or if you need a skilled workforce, you know, if you’re looking for hundreds of employees that are very familiar with this type of process, that is our job as consultants to date them in the right direction and find the perfect spot for their needs.
Jonathan Bench 29:06
Hector, that’s a great explanation. I appreciate that, you know, context matters, of course, in every global environment, and certainly, you know, within the United States, there are parts of China where where we also would not necessarily like to be at any given point in time. So it depends on where you are understanding the market and having having someone who understands those nuances. That’s exactly where the value the value bring to your clients. So I’m very curious about your work with technology and film. A lot of your work has been in that space. Could you tell us a little bit more about that? Especially what’s unique in the Mexican market regarding technology and film industries?
Hector Correa 29:44
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it was this was kind of a coincidence, because, as you can see, my background occasionally is on technology. But you know, the film industry, we’re entering what they call the creative the creative industries. Well Now there’s this strong merge between technology and the film industry or creative industries, whether you call it you know, Film Editing or rendering or post production pre production. So these happen in my, in my case, it happened by by coincidence. I was not up to five years ago, I was not very familiar with the film industry in Mexico, my main work was with the more traditional areas of technology where there is artificial intelligence, big data analysis. But it happened that about five years ago, an employee of the government of the state of Jalisco reached out to me, we met previously in intrapreneurial, event, Mexico City. And, you know, she, we met, she knew what I was doing in Chicago. And a couple of weeks later, she called and said, Look, we want to organize a trip of some Mexican companies that are in the creative space. And she called it she called the creative industries. They’re in the creative industries. And you know, they have a very interesting offering. And we’d like you to help us organize a visit, they will this group of companies, we’re traveling with the governor of the state of Jalisco, so yeah, I’ll be I’ll be happy to help. You know, I may do so or my network. And we started creating an agenda. So that’s when I realized that there are a lot of small companies that are even though they’re small in size, they’re very talented, and they have a board.
First, with the effort of resurrecting the film industry in Mexico, in the United States, maybe this wasn’t very obvious. But back in the 1930s, and 1940s 50s, and 60s, Mexico was the Hollywood of Latin America, you know, 95% of all the films back in those decades came from Mexico, and they were exported to the rest of Latin America. So there was it died out in the 70s 60s, late 60s 70s, and 80s. Because the investment wasn’t there, but there is a very, there’s a large group of small companies that are resurrecting Mexican cinema. And in their efforts, while they are, you know, they’re catching up with all of the technology that is used in Hollywood for animation, for post production, pre production, sound editing, sound mixing. And slowly, they’ve been able to catch attention of, you know, big names in the United States, like Netflix and Amazon. Some of the studios have done some small projects with Mexican companies, especially for pre production and post production. So I didn’t I was I was new to that world about five years ago. But then, after a successful event with the companies went to Chicago, and they had successful meetings with some other local companies in in the Midwest, that I started getting more involved in this in this business. And I’ve been able to work with some of these companies in finding them opportunities to do some filming work in, in Europe, in the United States. But it still is, there’s a lot of work to be done. I think that as successful as this guy is small companies have been in racing out outside of the Mexican border, and have projects, there is still not a lot of awareness in the film industry in the big film industry in Hollywood of these opportunities. But I think that, you know, that is also very fertile land for us. I think that we have a substantial base of companies and we’re very diverse products that if we do some good work in marketing, their abilities and their capabilities, we can catch more attention from the big names and the studios in Hollywood.
Fred Rocafort 34:14
Well Hector, thank you very much for all your insights really enjoyed this conversation really enjoyed in particular, talking about Mexico, which is definitely a market that I find of interest. I’m sure Jonathan feels the same way. And pretty much every every one of us at the at the firm feels that way about it. Before we end today. However, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you for any recommendations you might have for us. Whether it’s something you’ve read recently or something you’ve you’ve watched or any recommendation at all you might have, we’ll be happy to receive it.
Hector Correa 34:49
Thank you. You know, it’s Yes, I like to take this opportunity. And this is I work with intrapreneurs a lot from both sides of the border in the US and Mexico. Though. And, you know what I said in your first question, when in part of my response was that when some companies call you, you know, they think that technology will give them the answer that they’re looking for in order to be more efficient or to have less quality issues or whatnot. And then it turns out that will is not just technology that you need in order to solve the problems. So, on that same line, when I was in, when I was in my master’s program, in New York, I had the fortune to take a class with, it was a system science class. So it was a little bit out of my comfort zone in computer science, it was more like an industrial engineering kind of class. But I always found industrial engineering also fascinating. So I took this class and system science, and the my professor, was also the author of a book, a very small book. And this is usually, you know, I recommend these to everyone who is an engineer in any field. But the more that I started working with people in other different areas, whether it’s marketing, or finance, or construction, the more I saw that this little book, it’s applicable to almost anyone, and there’s a book called are your lights on, I will strongly recommend anyone to read that little book, I’m not going to spoil the content of the book, but it is a very fresh and unique look at how we especially engineers, but in general how we people solve problems, or try to solve a problem. And then, most times, or many times, we end up creating more problems were quote, unquote, solution that the ones we originally had, or we create, you know, problems that we didn’t anticipate. So this book is called Are Your Lights on, I will strongly recommend that to anyone. And this is just more than on a personal, you know, on a personal note, I think is a fantastic book, I have three children. One is 22 another is 19. And I have a girl that is 17. I already made them read that book twice, one by themselves. And another one, we were reading it all together, we will sit every afternoon and read a chapter or half a chapter and then talk about it amongst ourselves. Because I think that it’s it gives you a very different way to approach how you analyze the problem. And how you come up with solutions. And some of those things are understanding how that thinking process is some is many times flawed, it helps it will help anyone in any area of professional work. So that’s one of the that’s one of the recommendations that I will do. The second one related to Mexico and those companies that are interested in doing business in Mexico, or just maybe just considering maybe another location, but they’re not sure where to go. There are many organizations in the United States that are composed by Mexican businessmen, or Latino businessmen. And I think that companies don’t really make good use of those organizations. Even the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce in the United States, they do a fantastic job of answering questions. And, you know, paint more accurate perspective of what Mexico can offer, what is good at what is not good at. And in many of these people, you know, speak of personal experience, many of these members of the chambers of commerce or these business associations are actually businessmen who are doing business in Mexico or our have done business in Mexico and the United States. And they are, I guess, the best reference, but I rarely see companies reaching out to any of these organizations for their opinion or guidance or just simply to ask them, ask them questions. So if any of your audience is in the process of considering our location or just even just interested about getting a more accurate picture of what Mexico is today, feel free to reach out I am a member of one of the organizations. And I can tell you that everyone, every of those organizations that I’ve met, we are more than happy to receive anyone answer any questions. It is, by no way, a burden to any of these organizations or any of their members to sit down with anyone who’s interested about Mexico, but we rarely get those requests. So it’s maybe because we don’t advertise it. But if you have any questions, or you want to even know more about doing business in Mexico, reach out, and we’re presently almost in any major city in the United States. So you know, just do a Google search for Mexican businessmen associations or, or Mexican American business associations and reach out to any of them, I’m sure they will be happy to sit down and have a, you know, a q&a session with anyone who approaches them.
Fred Rocafort 40:56
Hector on that note, you said you’re a member of one such Association. Can you give us the name of that association? So we can include that?
Hector Correa 41:03
Yes, absolutely. The name is the AEM , in Spanish is Association de empresarios mexicanos. You can find that as a AEMUSA.org And is a national organization composed by Mexican businessmen who live in the US and do business across the border is a national association. But there are chapters I think there’s about 22 chapters don’t don’t quote me on data, I’m not up to the latest numbers. But there are chapters in almost any major city in the United States. And our main goal is to actually promote Mexico as an business environment, and work with anyone who wants to do business there.
Fred Rocafort 41:49
Thank you for that. Jonathan, what about you any recommendations?
Jonathan Bench 41:53
Yes, I finally finished this United Nations, which was Peter Zeihan’s latest book that came out early in 2020. And I have a big crush on Peters is an intellectual Crusher, he’s not a bad looking dude. But this is his his latest book. And he’s a geo politician, geo pollicis. He looks at the way the world is put together through the lens of geography, how we got to where we are largely based on geographic parameters on where countries are situated. And so I’m going to read through some of the countries that he hits on this time, the title of this United Nations comes from the concept that the US is pulling back more from global governance, that it established post World War Two, and it’s going to allow other countries in the regions to exert their influence. And so for instance, in his prior book, he had a lot on China, this time, he has a chapter on Japan. So he hits on Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Brazil, and Argentina. And so these are all countries that are either growing in prominence or will be slightly shrinking in prominence in favor of another one, for instance, to Saudi Arabia, and Iran, competition. And then you have turkey stepping in which he says is going to be the superpower in that region of the world in the coming decades. So as always, it’s a super fun read, I listened to the audible version. It’s also a lot of fun that he got he only read his first book, yes, someone else reads this book, but it is well worth your time. I think our audience members are all big geopolitical nuts anyway, so I don’t have to preach on that. But if you’re interested in any of these countries, I was fascinated by the history of of Argentina, and Brazil, how their development post colonial era has grown. So a lot of interesting facts, I’ll probably go back and listen to it again, just to solidify more things to my brain, but I highly recommend it. It is called this United Nations by Peter Zion. Fred, what about you?
Fred Rocafort 43:49
My recommendation today is a little a little controversial. Most of our listeners probably know there are still very serious questions out there regarding the origins of COVID. Nobody knows that’s that’s the bottom line. At the moment. Nobody really knows how the virus originated. Unfortunately, that topic that search for the roots of the pandemic has been mired in, in a lot of political controversy. Obviously, there are the efforts on the part of the Chinese authorities to control the narrative as to how it started. And even here in the United States and elsewhere in the world. There are differing views, unfortunately, any suggestion that the origins of COVID might lie anywhere other than in a process of natural development any any suggestion that the labs that are that exist in the city of Wuhan might have had a part in all of this. There are many voices, including respected voices in the press and elsewhere that are quick to discount that as a sort of reflexive anti China view. However, I read What I find to be a rather compelling article not in support of the idea that the virus originated at the lab, but rather in support of the view that we don’t know. And we need to keep an open mind with regard to this. It’s an article called the origin of COVID: Did People or Nature Open Pandora’s Box had one written by Nicholas Wade, reading his bio, right off the the article as a science writer, editor and author who has worked on the staff of nature, science. And for many years, the New York Times, this was published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will be providing a link, of course, but I thought it laid out the case very convincingly, for the proposition that we need to keep an open mind and cannot just go ahead and say that there is no way that this came out of a lab and one, I’m not a science guy. And the level of science in this article is dumbed down. Still a little bit too much for me. But but but even putting that aside, I think some of the arguments and supportive of keeping an open mind, if you will, I think are within reach of anyone. So again, the origin of COVID that people or nature, open Pandora’s box, that one was published on May the fifth in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the author, once again is Nicholas Wade. So thank you, actor for your recommendation. Thank you, Jonathan, as well. And thank you for coming on the podcast really, really enjoyed the conversation. We look forward to having you back on before too long.
Hector Correa 46:40
Thank you very much. Appreciate the time and the opportunity to you know, share my experience, share a little bit more knowledge about my country. Thank you so much for this opportunity to participate in official time as well.
Jonathan Bench 46:56
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, we look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue discussing developments in global law and business. This podcast was produced by Harris Bricken with executive producer Madeline Williams music composed by Stephen Schmid. Tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai