Posts tagged ‘Mexico’


Indians Are Among the Most Satisfied at Work, Says a Study. Here’s Why – India Real Time – WSJ

Indians are among the most highly stimulated and satisfied at work, a new report claims.

Some 28% of workers in the South Asian nation reported being highly engaged and fulfilled in the office, a full 15% above the global average, in a survey of workers in 17 countries conducted by Ipsos for furniture and workspace systems company Steelcase Inc.

Other nations with the largest proportions of satisfied workers were Mexico, at 22%, the UAE and South Africa, where around one in five people described themselves in that way and Saudi Arabia, with 18%.

American offices came sixth. About 14% of those surveyed there reported being highly engaged and satisfied at work.

Only 4% of Indian workers were highly dissatisfied and disengaged, compared with 11% on average globally.

Indians also provided the second-highest average score, of 7.4, when they rated their quality of life at work out of 10. Only Mexico scored higher with 7.5.

The authors of the report said the secret to the happiness of Indian workers could be to do with the fact the country’s employers haven’t yet embraced open-plan work spaces and also a result of  the hectic pace of life outside the office walls.

Only 14% of the offices the employees worked in were open plan. Meanwhile, 70% of the workers surveyed sat in a private or shared private office at work.

“Culturally, having a workspace of one’s own, even if it is compact and modest, is a signal of belonging and importance, which may explain the overall high degree of workplace satisfaction,” the report said.

In densely populated countries like India, the workplace can be a haven, the report said.

Indians are much more likely to say, for instance, that their work environment allows them to feel relaxed and calm. A total of 73% agreed with that in the survey, much higher than most other countries, the report said.

Workers in Indian offices are also likely to have access to shared spaces like meeting rooms, cafeterias and canteens. They also have the most access to sport or exercise facilities.

Indians’ enthusiasm about their office spaces might be relative. The most highly engaged employees came from emerging economies, the report said.

“Many Indian employees’ expectations may be shaped by their comparatively modest living conditions,” the report said.

And they are more likely to say that they work remotely–55% said they sometimes work away from the office, and 20% said they did so every day.

They also believed that their employer took a genuine interest in employees, with 79% agreeing with the statement.

All of this might reflect employers’ efforts to keep their workers happy, the report said. “In India’s highly competitive and fluid job market, providing a desirable workplace can be a powerful strategy for attracting, retaining and engaging the talent that can help an organization thrive,” the report said.

Source: Indians Are Among the Most Satisfied at Work, Says a Study. Here’s Why – India Real Time – WSJ


Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters

Foreign automakers continue to plough money into factories in China, the world’s largest car market, even as the biggest economic slowdown in a quarter of a century crimps sales growth.

Employees work at the third factory of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile company, after its inauguration ceremony, in Wuhan, in this July 2, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/China Daily/Files

Market leaders Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and General Motors (GM.N) show no sign of letting up on their planned investments, while Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Ford Motor (F.N) are also pursuing new China expansion plans.

That’s in spite of the economic slowdown further depressing the car market in January-March, when sales grew only 3.9 percent, compared to 9.2 percent a year ago and way below the 7 percent growth that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicts for this year.

via Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters.


Toyota to end expansion freeze, invest $1.3 billion in two new Mexico, China plants: sources | Reuters

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) will spend about 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to build two new car plants in Mexico and China, two people familiar with plans said, ending a three-year freeze imposed after unchecked growth lumbered the world’s biggest auto maker with too many idle production lines.

A visitor walks under a logo of Toyota Motor Corp at the company's showroom in Tokyo February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Reuters reported in January that plans were in place for new plants in the two countries, awaiting a green light from top management that has now been given. President Akio Toyoda had been cautious about expanding after Toyota was hit by a capacity glut following the global financial crisis.

The new plants will raise Toyota’s annual production capacity by nearly 300,000 cars, the two people said – 200,000 in Mexico and up to 100,000 in China. They declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media, and said the expansion may be announced formally as early as this month.

The renewed expansion drive by Toyota will put more pressure on rivals such as General Motors Co (GM.N) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), in a global automotive industry still burdened by being able to make more cars than it can sell. The increase in global production capacity of up to 300,000 compares with sales of just over 10 million in 2014.

Immediately after the financial crisis, big carmakers were cautious about adding production capacity. Now, with demand in the United States back at pre-crisis levels and China’s auto market growing, albeit more slowly, expansion is back on the agenda.

via Toyota to end expansion freeze, invest $1.3 billion in two new Mexico, China plants: sources | Reuters.


China Telecom plans bid to build Mexico broadband network – sources | Reuters

China’s third-largest carrier China Telecom is preparing a possible bid for a contract to build and run a new mobile broadband network in Mexico and is seeking local partners to join it in a consortium, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

It has already secured up to several billion dollars of financing from Chinese state-controlled banks, including the China Development Bank, for the project, which Mexico estimates will cost $10 billion over 10 years, one of the people said.

The proposed network is part of a sweeping reform designed to break billionaire Carlos Slim‘s hold on the Mexican telecoms business, but the Chinese involvement could prove controversial and trigger concerns from the U.S., some Mexican officials say.

Mexico’s government is trying to ease its economic dependence on the United States and ramp up Chinese investment. A Chinese-led consortium looks poised to win a $3.75 billion contract to build a high-speed train system, sources with knowledge of the plan say. This is despite the group’s previous winning bid being revoked late last year amid a political scandal.

via Exclusive: China Telecom plans bid to build Mexico broadband network – sources | Reuters.


China Railway Construction wins $12 billion Nigeria deal: Xinhua | Reuters

China Railway Construction Corp (601186.SS) (1186.HK) has signed a deal worth nearly $12 billion with Nigeria to build a railway along the West African nation’s coast, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.

The announcement comes shortly after Mexico abruptly scrapped a $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract with a consortium led by the Chinese firm over transparency concerns.

China is pushing to win railway construction projects around the world as part of plans to export its high-speed technology and lift its manufacturing sector up the value chain.

Beijing is also pumping money into the sector, with more than $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects approved in late October and early November in a bid to bolster slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy.

“It is a mutually beneficial project,” CRCC Chairman Meng Fengchao told Xinhua. He added the railway project will lead to equipment exports from China worth $4 billion, including construction machinery, trains and steel products.

via China Railway Construction wins $12 billion Nigeria deal: Xinhua | Reuters.


China’s Rising Wages and the ‘Made in USA’ Revival – Businessweek

It wasn’t long ago that China was the cheapest place on earth to make just about anything. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the average hourly manufacturing wage in the Yangtze River Delta was 82¢ an hour. Oil was $20 a barrel, so no matter where you were ultimately selling your Chinese-made goods, it didn’t cost much to get it there.

A technician prepares a VIPturbo Modem at the SRT Wireless satellite communications manufacturing plant in Davie, Florida on Aug. 18

China’s still cheap, but it’s nowhere near the deal it was just a few years ago. Workers in the Yangtze make almost $5 an hour today, and oil costs about $85 a barrel. Suddenly the benefits of making things in China aren’t so apparent, especially if you’re selling those things to consumers in the U.S. A new survey by Boston Consulting Group found that 16 percent of American manufacturing executives say they’re already bringing production back home from China. That’s up from 13 percent a year ago. Twenty percent said they would consider doing so in the near future.

American manufacturing’s increased competitiveness against China is a story that’s been told for a few years now, giving rise to the term “reshoring.” But it’s not just China that the U.S. is gaining against. For companies making goods for sale in the U.S., Mexico has long been the place to go—and that’s slipping, too. The BCG survey shows that the U.S. has passed Mexico as the place where companies are most likely to build a new plant to make things to sell in the U.S.

via China’s Rising Wages and the ‘Made in USA’ Revival – Businessweek.


Costco Gets Into China via Alibaba’s Tmall Website – Businessweek

Attention, China: Costco is coming. To Tmall, at least.

The U.S. retailer has teamed up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) to sell products on the Tmall website. Food and health products will show up first, including many from Costco’s in-house brand, Kirkland. Flat-screen TVs and weird exercise contraptions won’t be far behind.

Costco (COST) doesn’t have physical stores in China. In fact, it has precious few in Asia at large. There are 19 Costco warehouses in Japan, 11 in Korea, and 10 in Taiwan.

The Internet is a relatively easy way enter a new market. But Costco doesn’t do too much of that either. China will be the fourth country where the retailer takes Internet orders, in addition to Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. In Costco’s five other locales, it’s strictly on-floor shopping. All told, Costco gets less than 3 percent of its revenue from online sales, according to its most recent financial update.

Tmall—and China in general—offer something Costco requires: volume. With incredibly slim margins on merchandise (and sometimes no margin at all), Costco only makes a profit on membership fees. Those won’t be required for shopping on Tmall, according to Alibaba.

In other words, the entire country of China may be a loss leader—at least until the warehouses start popping up.

via Costco Gets Into China via Alibaba’s Tmall Website – Businessweek.


China vs. the U.S.: It’s Just as Cheap to Make Goods in the U.S.A. – Businessweek

An entire generation of Americans has come of age laboring under the assumption that the U.S. can’t compete in the manufacturing arena with low-cost competitors such as China and Brazil. That may have been true a decade ago, but it’s no longer true today.

An employee of Rebecca Minkoff handbags at the Baikal manufacturing facility in New York.

I recently completed a review of manufacturing costs in the top 25 export economies with my colleagues Justin Rose and Michael Zinser. Our research shows that when the most important economic factors are considered—total labor costs, energy expenses, productivity growth, and currency exchange rates—Brazil is one of the highest-cost manufacturing nations in the world, Mexico is cheaper than China, China is virtually even with the U.S. (as are most of the traditionally “low-cost” countries of eastern Europe), and the low-cost leader in western Europe is none other than the country that launched the Industrial Revolution: the United Kingdom.

So throw away the old playbook. Welcome to the new era.

via China vs. the U.S.: It’s Just as Cheap to Make Goods in the U.S.A. – Businessweek.

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* China worries spur Mexico stock market flows

Reuters: “Mexico has been on the wrong side of China’s economic boom for the last decade, but is now seeing an upturn in its fortunes as the Asian powerhouse’s economy slows and international stock pickers look to hedge their bets.

Fund managers are shifting the composition of their portfolios to protect themselves against further slowing in China. That is bad news for exporter Brazil, but good news for Mexico, which has low trade exposure to Asia and which is starting to claw back the export share and wage competitiveness it lost to China.

After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, Brazil boomed due to a seemingly endless Chinese appetite for soybeans and iron ore, while Mexico’s manufacturers struggled to compete with cheap goods in their main U.S. market.

Brazil has grown almost twice as fast as Mexico in the last decade and overtook its northern rival as Latin America’s biggest economy in 2005, becoming a darling of investors.

But a recent soft patch in Brazil and a slowdown in China’s breakneck growth are prompting some investors to take another look at Mexico’s strong ties to the United States and the chances its new president will undertake major reforms that could push up growth.”

via Analysis: China worries spur Mexico stock market flows | Reuters.

Nothing ever stands still. At one time Japan was the destination of all new and high tech; then came South Korea’s turn; soon followed by China. But the laws of physics say that everything seeks equilibrium and the lowest common denominator (water seeks its own level). So as China’s minimum wages rise (by law – at 10 to 15% pa), other countries that appeared to be expensive are slowly becoming competitive. China, of course, will not stand still either; but will move up the value chain, as it has been doing steadily over the last 5 to 10 years.

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