Sourcing in America By Doing Cut & Sew in Mexico Is Gaining Ground

Posted by MFI International on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 @ 06:09 AM

Cut & Sew Mexico

"Sewn Goods Manufacturers Will Be At Texprocess Americas Expo"

Sourcing in Mexico remains a competitive low-cost alternative in the sewn products manufacturing industry.

Entrepreneur magazine reports that manufacturing in China will cost as much as manufacturing in the United States by 2015, leaving a void in the low-cost production market that nearshore facilities in Mexico will likely fill. Companies in Mexico can bring their products to the American market much faster than companies in Asia because of their proximity to the United States, while still being exceptionally cost-effective.

The benefits of nearshoring for a company rely upon specific factors. Companies currently manufacturing in Asia and interested in moving their production closer to home should look at their total landed cost instead of just a labor cost comparison between Asia and Mexico. They also should consider:

* Indirect costs related to traveling and product quality inspections.
* The need to have inventory quickly on the market.
* The cash flow management advantages of manufacturing in Mexico.
* The scalability of their current and prospective manufacturing partners.
* Whether Mexican or Asian companies are more flexible and reliable. In fact, a special report by the publication Sourcing Journal showed that retailers are moving their production away from China because of control, discipline and planning issues.

MFI International offers nearshore production in Mexico with a large concentration on cut & sew manufacturing operations. These factories manufacture products in many industries, including automotive and transportation interiors, apparel, bedding, furniture, home furnishings, upholstered furniture, medical equipment, mattresses, outdoor sports, pet products, and safety/protective products. With manufacturing plants situated conveniently in Ciudad Juarez, just south of El Paso Texas, goods can be dispatched quickly and effectively, thereby lowering distribution costs significantly.

MFI International will be presenting a "Cut and Sew in Mexico" exhibit at the Texprocess Americas trade show on May 13-15, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This biannual expo will be held at the same time and location as the Techtextil North America trade show, making this combined event the largest and best technical textile, sewn products sourcing and equipment trade show in the Western Hemisphere.

At the trade show, MFI will explain the benefits of manufacturing in Mexico and its experience in the sewn industry over the last 32 years. MFI will be at booth number 4107. The company's representatives will explain MFI's manufacturing process as well as the advantages of having a manufacturing partner with cut & sew capabilities in Mexico versus Asia and other lower-cost countries.

MFI has been in business since 1982 and has hundreds of satisfied customers.

"MFI's quality and flexibility enable us to meet the requirements of our government and military clients," said Harvey Nafius of Paper Pak Industries. "We focus on design, testing and engineering and let MFI provide dependable and cost-effective production services."

Download:  MFI's Presentation


To obtain a guest pass to attend Texprocess Americas, contact us.

Tags: contract manufacturing, cut and sew industry, nearshore manufacturing benefits, manufacturing in mexico, Juarez manufacturing

Manufacturers Are Leaving China, But Where Are They Headed?

Posted by MFI International on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 @ 00:09 AM

Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.  The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses – along with their jobs – head to Mexico. 

The competitiveness of offshoring has been declining for years, as China has faced increasing wages and currency costs, as well as higher fuel and transportation costs.  There are also many hidden costs and risks that are difficult to anticipate.  According to Jason King, Vice President of global business firm AlixPartners, “companies are waking up to the harsh reality that manufacturing offshore in places like China and other low-cost countries is costlier than it initially looked.”

In fact, by some estimates, manufacturing in China will cost as much as manufacturing in the U.S. as soon as 2015. 

Why Mexico?

Unlike China, Mexico continues to boast low labor costs and has a huge advantage in terms of proximity to the American market.  That said, finding out how many American companies are manufacturing in Mexico is surprisingly difficult.  According to Mario Vidana, Senior Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce, there are no public directories for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies established in Mexico.  In order to obtain this information, you would need to contact the chamber of commerce or industry chamber in each state.  Vidana also warned that they are often reluctant to share this information. 

So while the exact number of U.S. companies that are relocating their factories to Mexico is unknown, it does appear that the trend is especially apparent in the automotive, aerospace, and textile industries.  In an interview with Entrada Group, King points to several key benefits of producing in Mexico compared to China.  These benefits include lower transportation and warehousing costs, an improved ability to respond to customer demands, a better control of intellectual property, the ease of proximate time zones between management and production, and the cultural similarities between the U.S. and Mexican markets.

Paula Ramos, Marketing Director at MFI International, echoes many of these advantages, the greatest being the proximity to American markets.  MFI International provides manufacturing services in the Juarez, Mexico region that ease collaboration between U.S. companies and Mexican manufacturers.  She specifically cites the benefits of working in the border region of Mexico, where there are concentrations of skilled workers and industry. 

“You get the benefits from the lower labor rates in Mexico, and you can have your products within the same day.  We have cases where we can place an order in the morning and the product comes back to an El Paso facility that afternoon,” Ramos says.  “It’s almost like being in the U.S.”

To Ramos, this quick turnaround is what defines nearshoring.  “I talk to companies that say ‘nearshoring’ and then mention factories in Columbia and Central America – that’s still far.”

According to Ramos, manufacturing in Mexico is being developed in “clusters” which are often incentivized by the Mexican government.  The skilled workforce is available throughout Mexico, and different cities are working to attract different types of investments.  Nissan, for example, recently opened a plant in Aguascalientes, which will attract suppliers and OEMs to that region.  There are a large number of automotive and aerospace companies moving south, which is building up new clusters, she says.

Smart Investments and Contentious Plans 

The Mexican government is incentivizing manufacturing on Mexican soil by making wise investments, according to Ramos.  The government is primarily financing improvements to national infrastructure and roads to ease the flow of trade.  They have also worked for years on building trade agreements globally, and now hold agreements with 44 countries that allow duty-free trade, she says. 

The government has also invested in the education of its people, turning out a prepared, bilingual workforce.  According to the United States Embassy in Mexico, more Mexicans – almost 100,000 more – earn engineering degrees annually than Canadians and Germans.  These skills are attractive to U.S. companies, especially for a lower price tag than at home.

While the Mexican government has made some smart investments, not all of their recent decisions are going over well with manufacturers.  On November 1, Mexico’s congress passed a tax reform measure that will make changes to customs practices and raise the value-added tax (VAT) on export assembly plants in the border regions.

Ramos says that MFI is waiting until the end of the year to see what the final resolution is before making a formal statement, but compares the contentious proposal to health care reform in America. 

Currently, a major benefit of producing in Mexico versus in China is avoiding a high VAT.  As the system stands now, companies import materials duty free, transform those materials into a product in Mexico, and export the finished product back to the U.S. with zero, or very few, duties.  The new VAT would change the way taxes are calculated, and the manufacturing (Maquiladora) industry is lobbying very hard against it. 

Another concern that has deterred some companies from manufacturing in Mexico is the ongoing, publicized, drug related violence.  Ramos said that this fear is not particularly relevant to manufacturers because of the nature and location of the violence.  In Mexico, most manufacturing is done in industrial parks that are gated and secured.  “Most manufacturers, like MFI, will arrange transportation for workers from their living areas to and from their workplace,” she says. 

What Does This Mean For American Manufacturing?

Ramos says the decision to manufacture in the U.S. or Mexico should be based on the type of product a company manufactures.  To Ramos, “reshore products” have lower labor requirements and involve a more automated type of manufacturing.  On the other hand, “nearshore products” have higher labor requirements, involve more manual operations, and allow a company to compare labor costs between China and Mexico. 

“I strongly believe North American companies should take advantage of nearshoring labor-intensive operations by establishing production sharing between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and boosting economic activity within the region,” she says. 

As Ramos explains, forty percent of Mexico’s exports to the United States consist of components made in the United States, primarily for the automotive industry.  In China, that number drops to less than eight percent.  By that logic, increasing Mexico’s manufacturing industry directly stimulates manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  In turn, creating jobs in Mexico stimulates the Mexican economy, which increases Mexican imports from the United States. 

And for Ramos, this is the best part of her job. 

“It feels very good, when you start talking to a company and explaining all of the benefits [of producing in Mexico], and then you walk out on the production floor and you see us hiring more and more workers,” she says proudly. 

“It’s really about keeping the workers happy, and if you’re doing that by helping companies save some money and become more competitive, that’s a great match.”



Tia Nowack, Associate Editor 

Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation


Tags: manufacturing in mexico, Nearshoring Mexico

MFI Gives Back To Juarez's Children During The Holiday Season

Posted by MFI International on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 @ 00:10 AM

Christmas came early for dozens of orphans who live in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

On Dec. 14, the US+Mexico+Canada Strategic Alliance, a nonprofit organization led by MFI International that helps communities in the three nations, sponsored a daylong event called Juventud con Vision -- La Mision (Youth with Vision -- The Mission) so the children could have fun all day long.

And boy did they have fun.

Everyone who watches a video filmed by Cecilia Levine, the director of the strategic alliance and co-founder of MFI International Mfg., which has manufactured products for companies in Ciudad Juarez since 1982, can see that the children were having fun as soon as the day's events began.

Most people aren't very happy waiting on lines, but the children's excitement as they waited on line to see a movie at the Cinepolis IMAX Theatre was contagious. Their smiles lit up the theatre. They bounced up and down in anticipation of watching a movie with dozens of their best friends.

“I became happier just watching them be so happy,” said Levine. “I have never seen children be so joyful and so well-behaved at the same time.”

After the movie, the children went from being the entertained to the entertainment as they sang “Merry Christmas” in Spanish and English for several minutes. You had the feeling as you watched them that they will be singing “Merry Christmas” many times before and after Dec. 25 because they appeared to be genuinely happy children despite the unfortunate circumstances of their lives.

And they were unbelievably happy before the food arrived.

After taking time to say a prayer, the children enjoyed pizza and ice cream. Then, they did what children do best -- play. At an entertainment center in Ciudad Juarez, some of the children played video games, while others played sports games, and others simulated being drivers via sophisticated high-tech machines that tested their navigation skills.

“The children expressed more happiness in the few hours that I was with them than most of us express in months,” said Levine.

The other events it has sponsored recently include:

* A concert by the Esperanza Azteca (Aztec Hope) Juarez Youth Symphony Orchestra in El Paso Texas.

* A show to raise money for the Instituto Promotor de Educación of Chihuahua (Education Institute of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico).

* A silent auction of art and photography that benefited the children of Ciudad Juarez.

* A race that benefited local charities, including Ronald McDonald House Charities El Paso (El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are in the same metropolitan area).

* A world class community project to promote quality of life in Ciudad Juarez, through social values and education. The project is known as "El Punto", which means a "Meeting Point" between Juarez Mexico and El Paso Texas border. 

“Giving back to the people in the Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area gives MFI employees an immeasurable amount of joy each year, particularly during the Christmas holiday season,” said Levine.  

Tags: social responsibility, Juarez manufacturing

200 Children Bring Joy To El Paso Area Via Their Music

Posted by MFI International on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 @ 00:07 AM

Juarez Youth Orchestra  resized 600


“Youth Symphony Orchestra Is Part Of MFI's Community Outreach In Ciudad Juarez”

The El Paso, United States-Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, metropolitan area has more than 2.7 million people so contributing to the area’s quality of life is a gargantuan task.

Luckily, Cecilia Ochoa-Levine is dedicated to the metropolitan area.

 Cecilia Levine was the president of MFI International Mfg., LLC from 1990 until earlier this year and is still an MFI's co-owner and board member. MFI’s headquarters are in El Paso and the company has been manufacturing products for American companies in numerous industries at its Ciudad Juarez manufacturing plants since 1982. During her time at MFI, Levine has become so dedicated to El Paso (population 672,538) and Ciudad Juarez (estimated population 1.5 million) that she founded the US+Mexico+Canada Strategic Alliance, which is dedicated to contributing to community projects in cities throughout the three nations.

“MFI employees not only work in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, but they also live here,” explained  Cecilia Levine. “Helping the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area improves their quality of life and is the right thing for a corporate citizen of the community to do. The alliance is a win-win effort for companies and communities.”

One of the centerpieces of the nonprofit alliance’s effort to improve the community is the Esperanza Azteca (Aztec Hope) Juarez Youth Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 2010, the orchestra today consists of about 200 (8- to 19-year-old) children who rehearse almost every afternoon at space it rents at a Juarez Mexico institution called" The Instituto Vision Mexico school" and occasionally perform in public. The alliance plans on constructing a building that will give the children a permanent place to practice.

The orchestra, which includes a chorus, has made the children more confident about themselves and their future, the El Paso Times reported.

"Music is now my passion," Esteban Ruiseco, a 17-year-old clarinet player, told the newspaper, which also reported that the discipline that has made Esteban and his orchestra teammates better musicians has also made them better students.

The orchestra has brought joy to the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area by performing a numerous public concerts. Its latest performance was on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Abraham Chavez Theater in El Paso. The concert’s theme was Music Across Borders because the children played American and Mexican music, opening with The Star Spangled Banner. About 170 f the children performed. Lance Levine, who is MFI’s CEO and founder, took photos of the concert.

“The children’s skill was amazing,” said Cecilia Levine, who is also a director of the US+Mexico+Canada Strategic Alliance. “They were extremely poised and appeared to enjoy entertaining the audience. The crowd was very appreciative of their talent and energy.”

The youth orchestra isn’t the only Ciudad Juarez community project that MFI’s nonprofit arm is involved in via the international strategic alliance.

This past May, MFI helped commemorate a historic event in Ciudad Juarez -- the unveiling of a 200-foot-high sculpture entitled “La Equis” or “The X” that could distinguish Ciudad Juarez the same way that the Gateway Arch distinguishes St. Louis and could boost the city’s economy via increased tourism. The Red X includes an observatory that allows visitors to view Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and is in the middle of a promenade that can accommodate as many as 75,000 people and includes an outdoor theater.

MFI funded the performances at the dedication, including musical performances by the Juarez Youth Symphony Orchestra and the El Paso Symphony.

The company is also involved in Ciudad Juarez’s effort to build a community center that is called “The Point” or “El Punto” in Spanish. It has pledged “significant funds” to manage this project, which is expected to be completed in 2016. The community center will include a music academy, an educational center, a chapel for religious services, an immigration facility to help travelers, and an outdoor auditorium for cultural activities. It’s also expected to be a tourist attraction because of its architecture.

“MFI and the Strategic Alliance combined have demonstrated a remarkable foresight by embracing this project,“ said Cecilia Levine. “It clearly shows our commitment to social responsibility in general and community involvement projects in particular.”

Tags: social responsibility, Juarez manufacturing

Manufacturer, MFI International to Exhibit at IFAI Expo 2013

Posted by MFI International on Fri, Sep 06, 2013 @ 01:01 PM

MFI to Exhibit its Contract Assembly Capabilities at the Specialty Fabrics Trade Show


El Paso, Texas – September 6, 2013 -- MFI International will exhibit its contract assembly capabilities at the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo 2013 from Oct. 23-25. In the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

MFI has been manufacturing sewn good products for American companies in Mexico, U.S. and China for more than 30 years.  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss how their supply chain can benefit from MFI’s turnkey manufacturing solution in the sewn goods category.

Historically, MFI’s clients in the North American region have been able to reduce their supply chain costs, while improving time-to market through nearshore Mexico benefits associated with easy access to a cost competitive supplier.

Companies that utilize MFI's contract manufacturing services receive high-quality services and lower their production costs on labor-intensive operations. "Our clients typically experience cost savings equivalent to $1 million per year per every 50 employees when they move their operation from the U.S. to Mexico," said Fatih Akben, MFI's Director of New Business Development. 

MFI’s services for the textile industry include:

* Sewing and Assembly
* Inspection and Cutting
* Embroidery and Quilting
* Engineering and Sourcing
* Packaging and Fulfillment
* Shipping and Distribution 

IFAI Expo 2013 exhibit will be on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 23-24, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday, Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MFI will be located at booth No. 5431

Tags: contract manufacturing, cut and sew industry, mexico manufacturing, nearshore manufacturing benefits, textile industry, manufacturing in mexico

MFI International Announces New President

Posted by MFI International on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 @ 02:10 AM

MFI International-Lawrence-WollschlagerEl Paso, TX, August 19, 2013-- MFI International has announced the promotion of Lawrence Wollschlager to the post of President and Chief Operating Officer of the company effective August 2nd, 2013.

Mr. Wollschlager has held previous positions and responsibilities within the company, including engineering, quality assurance, manufacturing, global sourcing, supply chain management, business development, sales & marketing, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer.

Lance Levine, CEO of MFI International, said:  “Lawrence has the leadership skills, drive and business knowledge to help lead MFI to the next level.”

Cecilia Levine, the previous President of MFI, will continue her role with MFI as Director and member of the Board, as well as leading MFI’s corporate social responsibilities within the U.S. and Mexican communities.


About MFI International


MFI International is a leading provider of cost efficient and flexible manufacturing services within the U.S. and Mexico border region for over 30 years.  With a truly bi-cultural management staff that has extensive experience in doing business in a wide variety of manufacturing sectors, MFI offers complete package solutions through its two divisions, contract manufacturing and shelter services.  MFI’s specialties include automotive, consumer products, electronics, bedding and furniture, medical, military, pet products, specialty apparel and seating.  For more information, please visit

Tags: contract manufacturing, textile industry, manufacturing in mexico

Mexico's Superior Manufacturing Services Spur Plants To Ramp Up Production

Posted by MFI International on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 @ 00:05 AM

The number of companies that will utilize Mexico's high-quality, low-cost manufacturing services in the next few years is expected to increase substantially, according to a study.

Mexico's increasing competitiveness is expected to be a boon to those companies, including American companies that design the original product and their contract manufacturers – the companies that manufacture the American companies’ products in Mexico.

Contract manufacturers like MFI International are expanding their production facilities because so many American companies are taking advantage of Mexico’s superior manufacturing services. MFI currently manufactures consumer products, electronics, furniture, mattress soft goods (mattress covers), medical devices, and equipment for the military and first responders, pet products, specialty apparel and specialty seating. Its new clients will allow it to manufacture casket products for the U.S. market at its plant in Mexico.

"Our clients typically experience cost savings equivalent to $1 million per year per every 50 employees when they move their operation from the U.S. to Mexico," said Fatih Akben, MFI's Director of New Business Development. 

The study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) projects that “global companies are expected to continue moving production to Mexico” because its average manufacturing costs are declining in comparison to other nations. In 2000, Mexican labor costs were 58 percent higher than China’s labor costs, but they are projected to be 19 percent lower by 2015. Overall manufacturing costs in Mexico in 2015 are projected to be 6 percent lower in Mexico than in China and 20 to 30 percent lower in Mexico than Belgium, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The lower manufacturing costs – and lower energy costs – “are expected to propel Mexican manufacturing exports” by $20 billion to $60 billion annually within five years, according to BCG’s June 28 press release. American companies that hire contract manufacturers like MFI to manufacture many of their products’ components in Mexico are expected to benefit tremendously from this export boom, MFI can help companies bring their products to market expeditiously and inexpensively thanks to Mexico's high-quality labor force and the manufacturing plant's proximity to the U.S.

“Mexico is in a strong position to be a significant winner from shifts in the global economy,” BCG senior partner Harold L. Sirkin said. “That is good news not only for Mexico, which relies on exports for around one-third of its GDP. It’s also good for America, since products made in Mexico contain four times as many U.S.-made parts, on average, as those made in China.”

Mexico also has more free-trade agreements than any other nation -- 44. That reduces companies' tariffs.

Tags: contract manufacturing, mexico manufacturing, manufacturing in mexico

Manufacturer Embracing Social Responsibility in Juarez Mexico

Posted by MFI International on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 18:02 PM

El Punto Juarez Mexico resized 600

"MFI International Blends Social Responsibility and Best Practices to support a new community project in Juarez Mexico"

In its continuing efforts to combine good business practices with the need for social responsibility, MFI International is proud to announce its support for a new community center to be located in Ciudad Juarez known as The Point or "El Punto" in Spanish.

The goal is to promote the values and education of the Juarez Mexico community, and thus to facilitate, the international trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada by improving the quality of Mexican citizens. MFI, through its non-profit entity, the U.S. – Mexico - Canada Strategic Alliance, has committed significant funds over 4 years to the project which will be built on land valued at $30 million donated by the city of Juarez.

Cecilia Levine, founder and President of the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Strategic Alliance, noted that, “MFI and the Strategic Alliance combined have demonstrated a remarkable foresight by embracing this project. It clearly shows our commitment to social responsibility in general and community involvement projects in particular.”

The Location - Juarez Mexico

The Point or “El Punto” in Spanish is not just a simple urban revitalization project. Instead it aims to capture, through its free-flowing architecture, the spirit of the city and reflect the ideas and dreams of its inhabitants. It will be situated along the U.S.and Mexico border, and will serve as an icon of cross border cooperation.

As the mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Hector Murguia Lardizabal, commented, “The continued business growth of Ciudad Juarez lends more confidence to the international investment community and "El Punto" is a significant manifestation of that confidence.”

He continued, “While this is an ostensibly social project, it will also provide socio-economic development of the Juarez – El Paso border. It is a win-win combination for both businesses and the bi-national community.”

 The Project - El Punto

The project is a more than just a meeting place for the community, according to a recent article in the architectural portal Arquine. El Punto will also feature a chapel and dedicated spaces for projects in education, music and personal growth. The structure itself will be designed by the world renowned Swiss architectural firm, Herzog & de Meuron . In particular, the building will include the following:

  • A unique and eye-catching architecture designed to draw tourists as well as local residents.

  • A community center designed to promote cultural and economic development in the city.

  • A chapel to meet the religious needs of the spiritual community.

  • Social services intended to elevate the standard of living and quality of life for all residents

  • A music academy to encourage participation by music lovers of all ages in local as well as the Classical tradition.

  • An educational center for fostering respect of the community.

  • An immigration facility to educate, counsel and aid those traveling to and from Mexico.

  • An outdoor auditorium for cultural and educational activities.

 Project Timeline

The project kicked off its planning stage in late 2012 and the entire project is expected to be completed in 2016. Herzog & de Meuron are hard at work finishing the plans and drawings. Mrs. Levine summed up the sentiment nicely when she said, “The business world and the community do not have to be at odds. El Punto sends a powerful signal that both can work together to better meet the needs of each.”   

(Site visit in Juarez Mexico: Herzog & de Meuron and MFI International, source:

About MFI International

For over 30 years, MFI International has developed itself into a leading provider of cost-efficient and flexible manufacturing services in the Juarez, Mexico region. With a truly bi-cultural management staff that has extensive experience in both US and Mexican operations in a wide variety of manufacturing sectors, MFI offers complete package solutions through its two divisions, contract assembly and shelter manufacturing support ("shelter services"), across a wide variety of industries including the Medical, Casket, Consumer Electronics, and Home Furnishing and Automotive industries. For more information, please visit

Tags: social responsibility, manufacturing in mexico, Juarez manufacturing

MFI International Promotes Quality of Life in Juarez Mexico

Posted by MFI International on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 00:06 AM


sebastian x juarez mexico resized 600

In another gesture of friendship, cooperation and corporate responsibility, MFI International has helped commemorate the dedication of a towering steel sculpture in the city of Juarez Mexico. The monument entitled, “La Equis” or “The X” was officially unveiled at the “XFest: From Juárez to the World" last May 25th. In addition to the actual inauguration, the event was marked with performances by local musical artists as well as the renowned  Juarez Symphony Orchestra who were sponsored in whole by MFI International’s corporate responsibility arm; The U.S. Mexico- Canada Strategic Alliance group.


The Sculptor

La Equis was designed by the world renowned Mexican sculptor, Sebastian, known for his large-scale metal and concrete installations. Many, including La Equis, are known as “gate” sculptures as they are intended to welcome visitors to their host city. His work is proudly exhibited around the world in cities as diverse as Dublin, Bern, Osaka and New York.


The X in Juarez - La Equis de Juarez

The sculpture itself rises almost 200 feet in the air and cuts a distinctive “X-like” figure. It is situated in the middle of an esplanade in Ciudad Juarez that is designed to hold up to 75,000 people. There is also a viewing level where the two arms of the statue meet where visitors can view either downtown El Paso or Ciudad Juarez.


When asked about the statue’s meaning, Sebastian explained, “The X is a symbol full of meanings, a mark to welcome people (to Mexico) and to demonstrate the ancestral Mexican culture." He then added that the X was also a reference to the city of Juárez's namesake, Mexican President Benito Juárez, who changed the spelling of the country's name in the 1800s, from Méjico to Mexico.


 The Event

The inaugural event was held on 5/25/13 at the "Plaza de la Mexicanidad" as part of the "XFest: From Juárez to the World" celebration. Festivities included performances by the Juarez Symphony Orchestra (also known as Esperanza Azteca- Orquesta Sinfonica ), the El Paso Symphony under the direction of leading Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra.

Both of these musical performances were coordinated and funded by MFI's U.S. Mexico-Canada Strategic Alliance as part of their ongoing efforts to support local community events and improve the quality of life for the residents of both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.


MFI’s Participation

MFI was proud to sponsor the inclusion of the El Paso Symphony and the Juarez Symphony Orchestra in the event but MFI’s participation was more than just financial as its CEO, Lance R. Levine, personally attended and captured many of the moments for posterity. Please visit this link here to see more of the images captured at the event.


Tags: contract manufacturing, manufacturing in mexico, Juarez manufacturing

MFI International Supports Local Foreign Trade Zone Initiative

Posted by MFI International on Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 38:01 PM

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 “From El Paso to the World”, Export Initiative Attractive to Manufacturers

El Paso, TX, May 30, 2013--MFI International Manufacturing is, once again, proud to reiterate its strong commitment to the City of El Paso and the economic initiatives fostered by its Free Trade Zone (FTZ Num. 68) through the participation of MFI’s President Cecilia Levine, as a guest speaker at the FTZ Export Forum 2013.

This year’s forum entitled “From EL Paso to the World” will take place on May 31, 2013 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club at 1858 Cottonwoods, El Paso, TX 79925.


 About El Paso’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ No. 68)

The FTZ No. 68 constitutes an integral part of the City’s regional and international investment strategy providing a superior business platform for domestic and international trade activities in the region. The zone consists of 5 regional sites totaling almost 3,500 acres set throughout the city and within the greater El Paso County area. 

In general, global manufacturers are eager to take advantage of a Foreign Trade Zones for a variety of reasons. In particular, they are usually located in a secure area in or near a port of entry to the U.S. but legally outside the jurisdiction of U.S. Customs. Then, most typically, foreign and domestic goods for import into the U.S. are taken there for storage, manipulation, manufacturing, and/or distribution without the need for formal customs entry or payment of customs duties or excise taxes.

A wide range of industries in the El Paso and Juarez trade area take advantage of the benefits of FTZs including many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), contract manufacturing companies, and maquiladoras in Mexico operating in different fields such as: aerospace, industrial textiles, automotive, consumer electronics, food, green technology, medical supplies and equipment, metals and minerals, petroleum, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Not only are fines and seizures reduced, other benefits include deferred duties on waste, elimination and reduction (Inverted Tariff Relief), reduced bond and brokerage costs, and the elimination of drawbacks.

The Export Forum 2013 - “From El Paso to the World”

The goal of this initiative announced through the Export Forum 2013 event, is to promote international trade activities in the El Paso and Juarez, Mexico manufacturing community. Here are some interesting trade facts from 2012:

·    El Paso exports in 2012 reached $29 billion. 

·    The main contributors to foreign direct investment are countries like Mexico, Germany, Japan, Spain and China. 

·    In addition, the El Paso FTZ Num. 68 offered programs to companies in more than 40 countries.

Trading on these facts, if you’ll pardon the pun, the event will be an eye opener for the El Paso and Juarez business community. In addition to promoting the FTZ’s programs, a new trade mission coordinated with the U.S. Commercial Services will be introduced and key testimonials and seminars will be held featuring trade leaders from the local business community including MFI’s very own, Mrs. Cecilia Levine, President of MFI International Mfg.

Mrs. Levine will be speaking on, “Advantages of a Trade Mission.” Her hands-on experience in manufacturing, as well promoting U.S. exports as a former member of the President’s Export Council from 2003-2008, make her remarks of especial interest.  To learn more about Mrs. Levine's background click here.

To learn more about El Paso's Foreign Trade Zone Num. 68, and it's initiatives visit:

 To learn more on how MFI International MFG., can assist in your contract manufacturing strategy,contact us here.

  Download:  MFI's Presentation

Tags: contract manufacturing, trade events, Juarez manufacturing