Locals Lead Argentina Mould Group

Friday, June 22, 2012

Windsor-led delegation from mould indsustry seeking ways to expand manufacturing

BY DAVE HALL, THE WINDSOR STAR

A Windsor-led delegation from the Canadian mould industry is in Argentina this week seeking ways to expand manufacturing, export and trade opportunities in the South American region.

Tracy Pringle, director of business development for the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation, is part of a small group meeting with Argentine mould industry officials in an attempt to reach a co-operation agreement that will allow Windsor area companies to supply tooling solutions.

"There is a great need for our moulds, machines, services and technology," said Pringle in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. "But the challenge rests with current economic trade policies and protectionist rules.

"The goal of the Argentinian government is to build its industry from within, and we're working with our industry counterpart here to find a way to match suppliers and customers," said Pringle.

But Pringle said that government policies tend to change on a regular basis in Argentina and it's been suggested "we wait until they do."

Pringle said the goal of the Canadian Association of Mould Makers (CAMM) is to reach a co-operative agreement with its Argentine counterpart that would facilitate the flow of technology and trade between the two organizations and among the members they represent.

"It would help our companies expand their export market. It would help Argentinian companies grow and develop, which, in turn, would create more customers for Canadian companies," said Pringle.

In addition to meetings, the delegation has also spent most of the week attending Argenplas, one of South America's largest plastics industry trade shows.

"It's been a hectic week, but we've made some contacts and connections, which is the first step in developing a relationship," Pringle said.

Representatives of CAMM and local industries were urged to send a delegation by Luigi Arias, an executive with Coca-Cola Argentina, following meetings last year at the Canadian plastics industry trade show in Toronto.

Besides Argentina, CAMM is also making a concerted effort to expand its reach into more international markets.

Delegations are scheduled to attend shows in Brazil, Wolfsburg, Frankfurt and Mexico City within the next nine months.

"We plan to develop relationships in these markets much like we did in Mexico starting six years ago," said Diane Deslippe, CAMM's executive director.

"Now we have five member companies with a physical presence in Mexico, which benefits our local economy through tool builds, engineering design and service revenues."

Typically, these operations service existing products that are still manufactured in Windsor.

Other members of the CAMM delegation include Joe Ouellette, John Hodgins and Eduardo Garrafa of Windsor-based Acrolab, along with Selwyn Marquis, sales and marketing manager for Toronto's Sturdell Industries.

In addition to a head office in Windsor, Acrolab also has production and sales offices in Calgary, Montreal, the U.S., Australia, Brazil and Germany.

"We're here in Argentina doing what we do best, and that's breaking new ground to make way for others coming behind us," said Ouellette.

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