STORY INLINE POST
Q: How does CzechTrade support Czech companies that want to enter the Mexican market?
A: CzechTrade, established in 1997, is the trade promotion agency of the Czech Republic. From the beginning, our main focus has been assisting Czech companies in entering or expanding into foreign markets. We address any needs Czech companies may have to establish themselves in their target markets. We offer highly personalized services, aiming to provide Czech companies with useful information to prevent them from wasting time or money on expansions that may not be beneficial. We also provide services for companies already present in Mexico, offering comprehensive support at any stage they may be in.
We are interested in helping boost the creative industries, food, agriculture, digital economy and new technologies markets. We do not focus exclusively on any sector and we always strive to remain open to any Czech company interested in entering Mexico, always if its products have the potential.
Q: How interested are Czech companies in entering Mexico and why are they interested?
A: Mexico often attracts Czech companies, which see the value of having technical support and direct operations in the Americas. Mexico is an excellent choice for achieving this. On the other hand, a significant portion of the Czech Republic's exports remain in the EU, so there comes a point where these companies feel that they no longer fit within that market and seek diversification. This leads them to consider other countries, such as the US and Asian countries. When they look at Latin America, Mexico and Brazil stand out due to the size of their markets. Our government aims to encourage companies to step out of their comfort zone outside of the EU.
Q: How have existing trade agreements and those being worked on generated better trade links between the Czech Republic and other countries in the Americas?
A: The EU and Mexico have had a trade agreement since the 2000s, which includes a provision for free trade. This means that many of our products can enter Mexico without tariffs. These incentives are incredibly important to us, as they have significantly increased our exports. Czech exports increased tenfold in the first year of joining the EU.
CzechTrade also has various programs to promote Czech exports and secures financing to participate in events that bring value to our industries, such as FAMEX 2023. We also seek companies that are committed to their expansion goals. If we provide financing, they also contribute a percentage, making the commitment mutual. We aim to support companies with subsidiaries abroad, as this can facilitate market entry. We have a special program to assist companies with 50% of the expenses related to expanding into another location.
Additionally, the Embassy of the Czech Republic is our ally. We try to collaborate in different areas where we specialize. The embassy primarily focuses on government-to-business (B2G) matters, while we excel in business-to-business (B2B) areas. We share companies and contacts to find the best ways to help them achieve their objectives. We organize trade missions and trade shows.
Q: What advice would you give Czech companies interested in entering Mexico?
A: They need patience and thorough preparation. Companies often forget that it takes time to start seeing results. We always try to reassure them, conduct market analysis and encourage them to make expansion decisions based on the information obtained. They need to keep in mind that they should take it step by step and start building relationships. Additionally, they should be aware that expanding into any market requires investment of money and time.
To get to know Mexico, it is important to understand its culture and history as many of these factors are reflected in the contemporary world and how the nation and its businesses operate. We always strive to help companies absorb as much information as possible and, at some point, develop an affinity for Mexico. We know that when they establish a connection with the country, their involvement will be much stronger.
Q: What plans or initiatives has CzechTrade put in place to enhance its support for Czech exporters?
A: Czech Trade strives to stay informed about what is happening worldwide to be at the forefront of providing services and capabilities to the Czech market. We focus on supporting companies to expand abroad. In 2021, we opened our first export incubators in the US, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan. This year, we plan to open one in Mexico, making it the first Latin American country to have an export incubator.
We want to highlight our commitment to long-term projects and to provide personalized assistance, continuously expanding our support in sectors that are of interest to Czech companies.
The CzechTrade Agency is a national pro-export organization established by the Ministry of Industry and Trade with the aim of developing international trade and mutual cooperation between Czech and foreign entities.