The new president of Mexico's National Association of Plastics Industries (Anipac) has created five vice presidencies as he strives to give the 47-year-old organization added dynamism and greater authority.
Guillermo Salas Valdez's priorities include boosting the association's modest membership of 320 companies and lobbying for major reforms of Mexico's energy sector as raw material supplies grow shorter and more expensive by the year.
``Energy sector reforms have taken too long,'' Salas said.
Mexico President Felipe CalderÃ³n Hinojosa recently sent a number of proposals for reforming the sector to the national Congress.
But in an April 9 interview at Plastimagen in Mexico City, Salas said it was too early to judge whether the proposals would benefit the plastics sector.
``If they install a gasoline refinery, there's nothing in it for us,'' he said. ``If they put in an ethylene cracker, it will be good for us.''
In 2007, Mexico's imports of resins and plastic products grew 27.6 percent from 2006's 2.4 billion tons, according to Anipac, more than double the 12.6 percent increase in the plastic sector's exports, from 978,000 tons in 2006.
``Our politicians are more interested in making politics than in the country's economic situation, especially where the plastics industry is concerned,'' Salas said.
Imports of raw materials make the national plastics industry less competitive, he believes. ``We in Mexico sell a barrel of oil for $100 and it's returned to us as a plastics resin for $800. ...
``We need our authorities to approve an energy reform that will allow us to produce raw materials in Mexico.''
He added: ``If the national petrochemical industry were reactivated, the domestic plastics market would be strengthened considerably. The sector would be more integrated. Latent markets, such as agriculture, construction, automotive and in-bond [maquiladoras] would grow and connect with a network of suppliers.''
Salas said he and his team also will push for an improvement in electricity supplies, which are, he said, ``the most expensive and irregular in the world.''
On the membership side, Salas said that Anipac will strive to persuade more plastics processing companies to join the association.
``We have 320 member companies, 100 of which are [processors], and there are 3,419 [processors] in the country,'' he said. ``People in Mexico don't have any idea of the benefits of being in an association.''
The five vice presidencies are for service and diffusion; institutional relations; membership and human capital; events; and agendas.