Mexican cosmetics products entrepreneur Munir Tager said he should have done it 15 years ago, but his real estate interests distracted him.
But this month he will fly to China to establish an injection and blow molding operation that will produce the same cosmetics accessories already made by his company, Belfem SA de CV, in Mexico. The initial investment: $1 million.
The accessories include hair brushes, combs and toothbrushes.
``Ninety percent of such items sold in Mexico come from China,'' he said in a recent interview. ``That's why we want to establish ourselves there and then export what we produce to Mexico and the rest of Latin America. The idea is to set up a network of sales offices across Latin America and eventually Europe.''
Tager aims to capture 60-70 percent of the Mexican market within 12 months of starting.
The new company, called Industrial Plastic Tager, also plans to launch a line of electronics accessories, such as light switches, he said at Plastimagen, held April 8-11 in Mexico City.
He also is exploring other business opportunities with Promotional Partners Worldwide of Hong Kong, a company that Tager said is the world's largest producer of promotional materials, employing 20,000.
Tager was born in Mexico to Syrian parents and is no stranger to China.
In 1986 he and Guillermo Salas Valdez, the new president of Anipac, Mexico's national plastics industry association, jointly established Industrias Plasticas Maximo SA de CV to represent three Asian injection and blow molding machinery makers: Tat Ming, Jon Wai and Akei.
Fifteen years ago he left the company to set up a real estate firm called Bufete Administrador de Negocios SA de CV, which, according to Tager, has taken up most of his time ever since. However, he kept in touch with his Chinese contacts.
He plans to install up to 60 machines initially, including injection molding presses from Tat Ming and blow molding machines from Akei.
He has not decided yet where to locate his factory, but Guangdong is one province he is considering.
``We shall see what we can do,'' he said. ``I should have opened the business 15 years ago. The biggest problem with China is the language. The second biggest problem is finding the personnel who will work properly.''
Tager is scheduled to travel to China on April 16. He expects to decide on a location for the new factory - where he will employ up to 400 - within 15 days of his arrival.
``Finding the right location is important. Friends have told me that in some areas plants have to close down for four days or more because the electricity supply is insufficient. They also say that in some places there's a shortage of workers.''