Georgia Institute of Technology on Sept. 30 will open a center in Mexico City devoted to nurturing trade and logistics – the newest in a worldwide network of such facilities.  

In partnership with the university Tecnológico de Monterrey, Georgia Tech’s Trade & Logistics Innovation Center will facilitate research on issues including disaster management and food supply chains.

It will also provide education in everything from transportation to overall trade strategies and work to improve the supply chains of Mexican companies to make them more competitive internationally.

Jaymie Forrest, managing director of Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, said the insitute needed to get involved in Mexico. 

“It is essential that there be in-depth knowledge of major trading partners such as Mexico for Georgia Tech to be the leader in international trade,” said Ms. Forrest in a news release.

After Canada and China, Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest trading partner, a relationship that has been enhanced by the North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminates tariffs on most goods traded within the continent.

Ms. Forrest told GlobalAtlanta in a phone interview that although these deals were important to facilitating trade, creating successful supply chains is difficult. “The hardest part is the execution,” she added.

That’s especially true for Mexico, which ranks No. 50 among countries in terms of logistical performance, according to the World Bank.

The Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute has created an international network of logistics centers to help countries improve their trade competitiveness. 

The first opened 14 years ago in Singapore, working with country’s government to educate businesses and solidify its position as a trade hub. Similar centers were opened in Costa Rica and then Panama over the last two years, and the institute is considering developing centers in Chile and Brazil.

Ms. Forrest said the institute is focusing on Latin America because many of the countries there are easily accessible.

“It’s easier to get to these countries than it is to get to California,” she said.

With all these spokes connecting to Georgia Tech’s Atlanta hub, participating companies will be able to compare their supply chains to businesses in other countries as a benchmark for global competitiveness, said Ms. Forrest.

Although the center in Mexico is officially opening this week, it has actually been operating for a few months. Miguel Martinez heads it up, supported by 20 faculty members from Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Georgia Tech’s logistics institute is also working with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and has relationships with organizations in Australia and South Africa.

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