Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

AMEX Seeks to Help Firms Benefit from NAFTA

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

AMEX Seeks to Help Firms Benefit from NAFTA

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

A recently formed consulting group in Oklahoma City is trying to help local businesses reap benefits from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The idea to establish the business _ Amex Diversified Inc. _ originated three and a half years ago in anticipation of NAFTA, which became effective in January, according to Amex President Roy Ramirez.

"I started putting together a complete network directly into number one chain stores in retail products and establishing direct contacts with manufacturers in all sorts of products," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he and his partner Burney McCurley have established contacts with the business and manufacturer sectors and put them in touch with service and product needs they may have and vice versa.

One of Amex's first business dealings involves Kleen Products Inc. of Oklahoma City. Ramirez said Amex recently entered into a venture with Kleen to form a cooperative between a Mexican industry and consumer chain store network.

Kleen Products are manufactured under the "Joe's" handcleaner label, said Kleen President Ken Newman.

Through the Amex network, Kleen entered into negotiations with a plastics manufacturing company in Mexico to manufacture "Joe's" plastic containers and agreed to supply "Joe's" to the two largest Mexican chain stores, Ramirez said.

As a result of the deal, Newman said Kleen hopes to add employees and equipment to its operation.

"The plant is at about 60 percent to 65 percent capacity, right now. The first step is to add a second shift and then purchase new filling equipment to increase production," he said.

According to Ramirez, sales projections are "between $3.5 million and $4.5 million in the first year, which will begin the first or middle of May 1994."

Newman was more conservative on the projection numbers, but said the venture could increase Kleen business at least 50 percent.

"I would be happy with $1 million or $1.2 million sales projection in the first year, but it very easily could move to that ($3.5 million to $4.5 million) without a lot of problems," Newman said. …

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