CAMM trade mission to Argentina and Canadian participation in Argenplás trade show
Buenos Aires, June 18-22, 2012
With the support of Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) funding, the Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM) conducted a trade mission to Argentina around the plastic sector trade show Argenplás, June 18-22, 2012. CAMM and company Acrolab Ltd. were exhibitors at Argenplás, with booths contiguous to each other.
In total, four Canadian companies were present at the show and had meetings with key local contacts during that same week: Sturdell Industries, Acrolab Ltd., StackTeck Systems Ltd., and Mold Hotrunner Solutions.
The Argentine mold and die industry employs approximately 7,000 people within 400 companies, mainly SMEs and family business. Slightly more than 80 percent of the firms are located in the city of Buenos Aires, the surrounding metropolitan area and the city of Rosario. The industry grew in the '60s under the influence of automobile production, which now captures almost 70 percent of the sector’s output, with the rest destined for manufacturers of appliances, electronics and plastics. Imports of molds increased from USD 23.4 million in 2001 to almost USD 78.9 million in 2010, representing a growth of 240%. Canada’s share fell between 3 and 8 percent depending on the year.
In term of activities, the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) organized a briefing session on doing business in Argentina, covering topics such as tax structure, technology transfer agreements, IP protection, restrictions on imports and exports of products and services, access restrictions to foreign exchange market and payment of cross border transactions.
TC/Fisher prearranged a meeting with the board of directors of the Argentine Chamber of the Plastics Industry – CAIP. Mr. Héctor A Méndez, president of the Chamber, welcomed the possibility of reaching a co-operative agreement with the CAMM that would facilitate the flow of technology, trade and technical training between the two organizations and among the members they represent. Mr. Méndez expressed the importance of developing ties with Canadian companies, in view of the need to increase trade and share technology.
Besides, TC/Fisher provided the Canadian companies with key local contacts from the whole value chain, from steel distributors, to mould makers, automotive suppliers and OEMs.
At Argenplás, Canadian delegates networked with mold processors, plastics processors and mold makers, not only from Buenos Aires but also from other outlying cities in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
Market challenges are associated to the system of non-automatic import licenses that Argentina has extended to a broad spectrum of products, including molds and dies, established to protect the Argentine industry from foreign competition and reduce the trade deficit with its major trading partners. In some cases, importers are facing long delays and new requirements to obtain their licences. The local mold and die industry faces particularly strong competition from Southeast Asian products. As a result, imports of molds and dies for the plastic industry exclusively dropped 15.7% from 2010 to 2011, from USD 72.6 million to USD 61.2 million. In addition, high inflation rates and recent foreign exchange controls are also affecting trade of goods and services with Argentina.
Despite these challenges, the opportunity lies with the fact that Argentine molding and moldmaking sector do not have the domestic capability to produce the needed hardware and components required to produce sophisticated tooling to supply the industry. Also, it would appear that the business community in general feels that the above mentioned restrictive regulations are unsustainable and will be reversed within a short period.
According to the CAMM evaluation, the time seems right for market investigation and developing relationships with moldmaking partners in Argentina focusing on the strengths of engineering and technology which are specific and common to the Canadian moldmaking sector but lacking in the Argentine sector. Canadian mold makers can provide to their Argentine partners mold engineering and design as well as complex machining and sophisticated subsystems, in order to ultimately provide Argentine molders with high production complex tooling.
Although development of this market will be a medium term project due to Argentina’s current economic situation, three out of four companies reported interesting prospects and leads from the visit for which they will provide quotes, and one company is exploring the possibility of closing a distribution agreement for their products. The CAMM collected over 200 leads from the show, and several of their companies have already started to quote jobs, with one company landing two contracts to date.
Trade Commissioner / Déléguée commerciale
The Embassy of Canada to Argentina
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada / Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada
Tagle 2828, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (C1425EEH)
Tel. / tél.: +54 11 4808-1055
Fax. / télec.: +54 11 4808-1015
Email / courriel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web / site web: www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca
Please find attached the leads from the show