MEXICO CITY — Mexico's national plastics industry association, Anipac, wants to boost the development and modernization of the sector through government funding, its president says.
Francisco de Caso told an audience at the official opening of the Plastimagen México 2014 trade show in Mexico City Nov. 18 that the association is in contact with Mexico's economy ministry over how best to proceed.
Plastics News has been told that Anipac — the Asociación National de Industrial del Plástico — is considering appointing what would be its first specialist in financial and government affairs to prepare applications for funding from companies within the plastics industry.
“This is a highly specialized area,” one senior Anipac insider said. “Just the slightest mistake can mean the difference between an application being rejected or approved.”
It is not immediately clear which funding program the Mexican plastics industry is eligible for. The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, in office since December 2012, has already increased funding for scientific and industrial research. Last year it made $5.67 billion available for such research, an 18 percent increase over the 2012 total.
“The plastics industry is unlike any other in Mexico,” José Navarro Meneses, managing director of E.J. Krause de México SA de CV, which is organizing the 19th edition of Plastimagen México, said in a separate interview.
“It's a transversal industry. If we [Mexicans] are going to have the second largest automotive industry in the world, we have to have a strong plastics industry.”
Mexico has one of the world's fastest growing automobile assembly sectors. The country produced 2.7 million light vehicles through October, 8.5 percent up on the same period a year earlier, according to auto industry association Amia, the Asociación Mexicana de la Industrial Automotriz AC.
Huge foreign direct investment this year alone makes it likely that the government and industry target of assembling 4 million vehicles a year in Mexico this decade will be reached.
But Navarro said opportunities for the Mexican plastics industry to grow are to be found in a variety of areas, from aerospace and medical to domestic appliances and agriculture.
The Plastimagen México show is the largest on record, not only as regards the number of exhibitors —850 — and floor space —366,000 square feet, 12 percent more than the 18th edition — but also attendance-wise.
The attendance on the opening day was 5.3 percent up on the opening day in March, 2013, according to E.J. Krause. He said he expects 30,000 attendees throughout the show, up from 27,500 last year.