Mexico

Mexico has clear strengths in information technology and aerospace manufacturing, and in 2014, it was the seventh-biggest vehicle producer in the world.

Mexico is the most competitive country in North America for aerospace manufacturing costs and was the third-largest supplier of information technology services in the world in 2012, after India and the Philippines. The automotive industry is substantial in Mexico; in 2014, the country was the seventh-biggest vehicle producer in the world.

Meanwhile, the government of Enrique Peña Nieto has worked hard to push reforms in the telecom and energy sectors.

Lower oil prices are a concern as nearly 30% of government revenue comes from a state-owned oil company, PEMEX. In addition, consumer confidence fell during the first quarter of this year. According to a June forecast by the OECD, Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016.

Along with Canada and the US, Mexico is a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect 21 years ago. Although NAFTA may be the most important trade pact for Mexico’s economy, the country also has similar agreements with 44 other countries, meaning approximately 90% of its trade is done under such pacts.

FACTS FOR INVESTORS

1. Mexico City is the capital and the financial centre.

2. Mexico Ranks 39th out of 189 countries on the World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business index.

3. It is the world’s 15th-largest exporter and 14th-largest importer.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

1. Dress for success. Formal business wear is the norm in Mexico. You may encounter business-casual dress in the high-tech sector, but you can’t go wrong with a suit, especially on a first encounter.

2. Shake, shake, shake. Handshakes are the traditional greeting, after which business cards are exchanged.

3. Meet and eat. Meetings can be conducted in offices or over meals, where more small talk is involved, but generally the first meeting will take place in an office.

4. On the clock. Mexicans appreciate punctuality, but they can be forgiving if you’re running a little late, especially in Mexico City, where traffic can cause unanticipated slowdowns.

5. Tech check. Email is the preferred mode of digital communication and can be used to connect with business associates before and after meetings. Texting is less common in business.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. Weather. The climate in Mexico varies from one region to the next. The coasts are warm throughout the year (avoid hurricane season) and Mexico City’s weather is temperate year-round.

2. English abounds. People speak English in the city centres and tourist areas; although English is less widely spoken in rural areas, you’ll almost always find someone who can help with the language.

3. Tipping. Tip service providers, including valets, taxi drivers and waiters; 15% of the total restaurant bill is customary. Make sure to check that the tip isn’t already included.

4. Getting around. You can fly between cities for a fair price if you book ahead.

Buses are a reasonable alternative. Executive-class buses offer air-conditioning, ample legroom, a toilet and TV screens showing movies. First-class buses offer similar services, but with less legroom. Second-class buses make frequent stops and are less likely to offer air-conditioning.

About the Author

Jennifer Campbell


Jennifer Campbell is a freelance writer based in Ottawa.

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