Akira Yamada
Ambassador
Embassy of Japan in Mexico
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View from the Top

Japanese Companies Eye Young Population

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 09:59

Q: What are the main concerns of Japanese OEMs and what can Mexico do to address them?

A: Mexico as a country has both advantages and challenges. Like any other country in the world, Mexico faces some political problems but it enjoys political stability as a democracy. Despite economic constraints, economic policy in the country is sound and stable. Inflation is controlled and although the country’s economic growth might not be remarkable, it is growing at a steady rate of 2 percent with stable labor conditions.

Another advantage Mexico possesses is a young population that is entering the workforce. The geography of the country plays to Mexico’s advantage, positioned between two oceans and with good highway and railway infrastructure. Mexico has a wide network of free-trade agreements with Japan, North America, Latin American and European countries. Improvement could be made to secure solid growth, such as improving infrastructure. The development of several industries has created an infrastructure bottleneck for export and import operations. Other important challenges include security and education. Both the Japanese government and companies assign much importance to human resources development.

Q: Whatever the outcome of a renegotiated NAFTA, what main value will Mexico continue to offer foreign companies?

A: NAFTA has worked well for Mexico, the US and Canada, and it has been changing the face of Mexico in a positive way. When the treaty came into effect in 1994, a lot of people were concerned about its impact, but in the long run I think that NAFTA was instrumental in the country’s development and is now one of Mexico’s most attractive assets.