Now is a great time for doing business in Mexico due to the sheer breadth of opportunities which are greater than the rest of Latin America combined, according to the UK Trade and Industry team in the country. They point out that according to the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings, in Mexico it is far easier to do business than in any other countries in the region – done forget, Mexico has 110 million people in an area the size of Western Europe.
‘Our objectives in Mexico represent a challenge but that’s what makes work here so interesting. Our team includes 30 specialist officers covering a wide variety of sectors from financial services, advanced engineering, automotive, energy and environment, to fashion, food and drinks, education, healthcare and tourism,’ said John Pearson, head of the UKTI team in the country.
Due to the breadth of Mexico’s business opportunities, UKTI has a main office in Mexico City and teams in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Tijuana with four committed offices seeking to maximise the sector opportunities across the country. ‘Our main goal is to double bilateral trade to US$6.7 billion, some £4.2 billion, by 2015. This was a commitment made by UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon in March 2011. Analysis shows that we are currently on track to do that, with overall trade needing to increase by at least 10% per year to reach the goal,’ explained Pearson.
He also pointed out that views of Mexico are changing. ‘It used to be seen as a risky place with security problems, and admittedly that is still an issue in some parts of the country. But the perception is worse than the reality. The Government is taking action to tackle this, and a lot of British companies are doing well here,’ he said.
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Among those on the ground already are British Petroleum, HSBC, Astra Zeneca, Unilever, Baker Tilly, Accesorize, GKN, and Diageo. This year the team has helped various British companies to establish themselves in the market, such as Ben Sherman, Weetabix, Lee Cooper, Wedgwood, and Little Bridge. The visit of UK Prime Minister David Cameron in June 2012 helped to raise awareness of the business opportunities between the two countries. ‘And with a new Mexican government that took power earlier this month, expectations are high, especially because they intend to open up the labour market and follow through on energy reforms,’ Pearson pointed out.
‘Mexico is the largest trading nation in Latin America but at the moment the UK only represents about 1% of Mexico’s imports. There are still challenges to overcome, but the economy is growing steadily, inflation and unemployment are low and its banks are well capitalised,’ he added.