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Interview with Jose Luis Vargas Martinez, Business Unit Director for Harsco

We spoke to Jose about Mexico's construction opportunities, trade negotiations, and growth.



You can hear more from Jose at this year's Mexican Steel Conference taking place in Monterrey in February.

Fastmarkets (FM): Where would you say have been the biggest opportunities for the Mexican construction industry in the last year?

Jose Martinez (JM): In 2018 the construction industry was driven by the private investment, particularly the automotive and aeronautic industry has been the key market for the construction partners due to the opportunity to participate in the construction of the new locations and the need to build industrial parks around those new big companies in Mexico.

FM: As a multinational company, how has Harsco been affected by the ongoing trade negotiations (if at all)?

JM: With the revised NAFTA we have seen how our steel consumption is affected by the 15% special tariff. From a global perspective, we are losing the opportunity between the US and Mexican market to import & export raw materials. The US Market usually consumes steel from Mexico, taking the advantage of the non-tariff in the past, however with the change we have limited our steel consumption to local level only.

FM: Are there any new projects or ventures that you are particularly excited about?

JM: Oil & Gas industry outlook represents a good opportunity for our business. The recent announcement about the potential two new refineries and the budget to refurbish the current 6 refineries is a nice potential business. That is why we are investing in increasing our current capabilities to serve those potential markets.

FM: What is Harsco’s plan to take advantage of projected industry growth into 2019? 

JM: We are investing in increasing our capabilities, currently building our new facility in the Bajio area and investing in new technology to add production capacity for the Latin-American market. Capitalizing the power of our brand IRVING for those markets where the safety and security is a requirement by keeping our quality and services at the top level.

FM: In what ways does Harsco succeed at prioritizing sustainable, long term growth?

JM: Harsco has been in Mexico for 63 years, offering the best service level and quality products for the industry however the market and the economy has been changing and demanding business partners that support them to face the change management. Harsco has been leading thru innovation by increasing product portfolio and services for our customers, in the last years we have launched different applications and new products to attend the safety and security markets and consolidating our business relationship with key partners and leading companies to associate our solutions with their products.

You can hear more from Jose at this year's Mexican Steel Conference taking place in Monterrey in February.
This content is provided by AMM Events for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.