Growth Summit: Global Manufacturing Panel

Posted by: Doug Bruhnke on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This event was held in collaboration with ProMexico. Read below on more about our collaborator.

Watch the full panel 2 discussion HERE.

See pictures from the event from around the world HERE on facebook.

And contact us for more information.

Read about part 1 of the summit HERE

A big thank you to Eduardo Gonzalez of Promexico and Donaji Montes of TechBA for their help, support and collaboration.

We held a multi-metro seminar in 5 locations with manufacturing, marketing and other executives discussing successes and challenges entering new markets and setting up facilities in other regions, with focus on... Japan, China, Mexico and the U.S. This post covers part 2 - focused on manufacturing.

Attendees joined in person in 5 locations in Asia and North America, and also attended virtually. Manufacturers in segments including aerospace, automotive, consumer and industrial attended this event to learn more about growing into new markets, site selection and other factors influencing cross border growth.

Purpose: Share ideas, issues and tips about evaluating and operationalizing growth and manufacturing between Asia and North America, and the US and Mexico.

Attendees: Executives in business, finance, marketing, operations and sales who are evaluating cross-border growth opportunities and next steps.

Global Manufacturing Panel Discussion

  • Introduction
  • Kazuaki Ohishi, Sr. Economist at Institute for Int'l Economic Studies of Toyota (Tokyo) - "Japan-Mexico Business Trends in Automotive"
  • Sumio Otsuji, Toyota Motor Corp. & Institute for Int'l Econ. Studies Tokyo - "Japan-Mexico Business Trends in Automotive"
  • Kirk Gerber, VP Manufacturing at Zero Mass Water (Phoenix) - "Growing & Operating Cross Border, Manufacturing"
  • Eduardo Saavedra, EVP of Business Development at Offshore Group (Tucson) - "Manufacturing in Mexico"
  • Arturo Freydig, CEO of ECN (Hermosillo) - "Automation to Become More Competitive"
  • Luis Ramirez, Principal at Ramirez Advisors Inter-National (Phoenix) - "Cross Border Issues"
  • Arnulfo Martinez, Executive Director at Industrial Development Commission of Mexicali (Phoenix) - "Setting Up Operations"
  • Q&A

Thank you to all our speakers!

Some key take-aways were:

  • The election in Mexico is viewed as very important by leaders in Asia.
  • NAFTA has created a top trade zone in the world, ultimately benefiting all three countries.
  • NAFTA was signed in 1993, and changes in the world make refinement and renegotiation logical.
  • Mexico and the U.S. have a long-standing relationship that can survive the stress and strain of politics.
  • U.S. and Mexico officials are working on both sides of the border to make cross-border logistics faster and easier.
  • Ultimately deciding where a product will be produced is a critical business decision as part of global growth.
  • In growing to new countries, it always makes sense to get local, well-connected and smart leaders in place.
  • There are regions like Mexicali along the border that cater to global companies looking to set up near U.S. markets.
  • Resources available to grow and establish your business... from Global Chamber®, Promexico, Mexicali EDC and many more.


Speaker Bios (Alphabetical by Last Name)

Doug Bruhnke, CEO/founder at Global Chamber® - Doug is CEO/founder of Global Chamber®, helping companies grow across metros and borders. Doug's first international trip was to Korea in January of 1987(!) and he's a two-time expat with the Dupont Company (Tokyo and Singapore). Over 30 years he has worked in nearly all market segments. He's a member of US District Export Council, advisor for US Global Leadership Council and past president at Global Ties Arizona. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Utah and an EMBA from Michigan State University.

Arturo Freydig, CEO at ECN. Arturo founded the company ECN Automation in 1991, focused on the process automation market in Northwest México, when the System Integrator Industry was starting. ECN Automation has specialized on process Industries like Mining, Food & Beverage, Power and Chemicals, He expanded the company to 12 offices in México and international to the USA in Arizona and Nevada, and more recently to Peru. ECN introduced an R&D area for mining process optimization called SuiteMet. The company has expansion plans to South America (Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia) 2018 and Canada 2019.

Kirk Gerber, VP of Manufacturing at Zero Mass Water

Eduardo Gonzalez, Deputy Trade & Investment Commissioner at Promexico. Eduardo holds a degree in Public Accounting from the Autonomous University of Baja California in Mexico, and holds several certifications in management and risk management. He has an extensive resume in business promotion within major Mexican companies with international exposure. Additionally, he has vast experience representing the Mexican Government, as he previously served as commercial delegate for Bancomext in The Hague, Netherlands. Recently he served as State Director of the ProMexico office in the state of Baja California. Eduardo is on the Board of Advisors for Global Chamber® Phoenix.

Vinayak Gupta, EVP of Operations at Zero Mass Water

Jan Knight, Founder and Principal at Bancroft Information Services. Bancroft Information Services provides “insight to entrepreneurs, from start-ups to grown-ups”. Originally from the UK, Jan is now based in Tucson, AZ. Her client base is national and international as is the research she provides to clients. She also provides customized market analysis, competitive profiles, industry profiles and more to shape business plans, marketing strategies, commercialization plans, product development and new business development across industries. Jan holds a BA from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Information Resources from the University of Arizona.

Hiroshi Konno, President/CEO at Konno Corporation. Konno Corporation is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. Their EAGLE brand hydraulic toe-jack has over 70% of the Japanese market. The company also has a sheet metal operation where more innovative products have been developed and produced. Mr. Konno has successfully grown the company with his innovative mind and has received various awards related to corporate reform and enlightening employees.

Arnulfo Martinez, Executive Director at IDC of Mexicali. “Arnie” has 20 years of experience in the attraction and retention of industrial investment into Mexico, having worked before at the Secretariat of Economic Development of the State Government of Baja California, the Trade Commission of Mexico for Southeast Asia located in Singapore, and on the private sector at an industrial shelter services provider with operations in the Northwest and Central Mexico. Mexicali IDC is a nonprofit that attracts, supports and retains businesses in the industrial manufacturing sectors of Mexicali including in Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Food Processing, Medical Devices, Metal-Mechanics, Renewable Energies, IT and Software Development.

Eric Miller, Co-Owner at PADT. PADT provides tools and services to companies who design and manufacture physical products. As a co-founder of PADT in 1994, Eric was able to also pursue his interests in IT, graphic design, 3D printing, database programming, and small business management. Eric is often called upon to write and speak on simulation, design, and 3D Printing as well as on startups and the high-tech sector.  In addition, he is a member of the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors, the BioAccel Advisory Council, and the screening committee of Arizona Technology Investors. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the UC, Berkeley and started his career focusing on the application Computer Aided Engineering to turbine engine components.

Kazuaki Ohishi, Senior Economist at the Institute for International Economic Studies in Tokyo. The Institute was established by Toyota Motor Corporation 30 years ago. He previously worked for Toyota for 30 years in the areas of sales and project planning for Latin American markets. Until June 2014, he served as Chief Coordinator at Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico, being stationed in Mexico City.

Sumio Ohtsuji, President of the Institute for International Economic Studies, Established by Toyota Motor Corporation. Mr. Ohtsuji worked for Toyota for 36 years in areas such as long range planning for North America and other markets and international government/public affairs. He served as Senior Vice President at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) in Washington, D.C.

Luis Ramirez, President of Ramirez Advisors Inter-National. Luis has over 25 years experience in US-Mexico border infrastructure projects, North American relations, international business and negotiations, regional economic development, industrial site selection, government procurement, project management and governmental affairs. He leads multidisciplinary teams on cross-border projects including site selection for major manufacturing facilities, joint venture partners and more.

Eduardo Saavedra, Executive Vice President of Business Development of Offshore Group. Eduardo has corporate responsibilities to engage in strategic thinking and planning to sustainably grow The Offshore Group’s businesses by acquiring new clients, opening new venues, and supporting existing clients with their development in Mexico.

Gus Scannapieco, CEO at Global Business Ventures. Gus has worked in 39  countries, including operations in Mexico and Japan. During the drafting of the NAFTA agreement in 1993, he was asked by the Clinton administration and 49 prominent business executives to review the final draft before the Agreement was signed into law. He was asked to be at the signing. Gus has owned companies producing hand care products for the healthcare industries, and among his accomplishments, he developed a world-leading hand sanitizer. Gus holds a degree in Accounting from Providence College and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.



The mission of Promexico is to promote the attraction of direct foreign investment and the export of goods and services, as well as the internationalization of Mexican companies in order to contribute to Mexico's economic and social development and strengthen the country's image as a strategic business partner.






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