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Mexico City 2015 Blog: Panel on Developing Infrastructure and Human Capital for the Energy Sector

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Speakers:

  • Nur Cristiani, Head of Mexico Equity Research & Strategy. J.P. Morgan (moderator)
  • Arturo Martínez, General Director, ACE Fianzas Monterrey
  • Carlos Álvarez,  Director General, Infraestructura México, BlackRock
  • Rolf Schmitz, Managing Director & Head Latin America Energy Finance, Scotiabank
  • Daniel Enrique Guerrero Rodríguez, General Director of Natural Gas and Petrochemicals, Secretariat of Energy (SENER)

While Mexico's energy reforms will take some time to materialize, opportunities for investment in the sector are plentiful, and Scotiabank's Rolf Schmitz seems sure that Mexico offers the best energy framework among Latin America countries. "There is probably no other [country] ... that gives you certainty that you’re going to see a return on investment," said the bank's managing director and head Latin America energy finance.

Developing infrastructure is among the most critical issues to be addressed. "We have an impressive reserve [of gas], and we can't get it out," said J.P. Morgan's Nur Cristiani, who moderated the panel. Cristiani pointed to a 2013 natural gas shortage, which she says cost Mexico more money than the recent drop in oil prices have.

The latter, however, will still affect the expected economic benefits of the reform, and therefore Mexico needs to focus on creating a competitive market by ensuring new companies can compete with traditional ones. "The problem of monopolies is they become less efficient over time," said ACE Fianzas' General Director Arturo Martínez. "The fundamental aim of the reform ... is to create competition in order to have world-class companies." New players in the market will also help generate the necessary human capital for the sector's expansion, in particular, much-needed technical expertise. 

Daniel Enrique Guerrero Rodríguez, of the Secretariat of Energy, also pointed out that Mexico's electricity reforms are just as comprehensive, if not more so, than its reforms regarding hydrocarbons.

Watch the video: