Toolbox: Doing Business in Mexico
In 2016, World Trade Center Utah launched its "Doing Business In" newsletter article series. These articles highlight one of Utah's top export destinations and help companies navigate the opportunities and challenges the market presents.
The U.S. has close economic and cultural ties with Mexico, which makes it a natural choice for first-time exporters or businesses looking to expand. It can be logistically less challenging than other markets because of its proximity to the U.S. and well-established supply chains.
Additionally, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated most tariffs, reducing paperwork and increasing demand for U.S. goods. In 2015, Utah exported $13 billion worth of goods worldwide, six percent of which were exported to Mexico. The top Utah exports in 2015 were transportation equipment, metals and food.
Those interested in doing business in Mexica need to develop close relationships with clients and partners. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls are preferred, although email is also widely used. Business lunches can be expected to last three to four hours. The primary aim of lunches is to establish personal relationships, with business topics often becoming a secondary priority.
While the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is close, the Mexican market should be approached in a different manner than the domestic market. Exporters to Mexico may underestimate the size and diversity of the market. It is often necessary to have more than one distributor in country.
Also, Mexico's legal system has fundamental differences from ours. Exporters would do well to seek advice before entering agreements. Some law firms with international experience can be found in our resource guide.
Because of instability in some areas of Mexico, you should check the State Department's travel warning website before traveling to a new location in the country.
Mexico's most promising sectors include packaging equipment, security and safety equipment, transportation, travel and tourism services and agriculture, to name a few. If you are considering expanding into Mexico, World Trade Center Utah can assemble trade data and other relevant market information for your company to assist in market selection.
For more information, or for any other help with your international expansion efforts, please contact the WTC Utah Trade Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.