/
Roundtable

What should investors know about investing in Mexico?

By Jan Hogewoning | Fri, 07/03/2020 - 15:00

ARMANDO ORTEGA

President of Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CANCHAM)

A: Investing in Mexico requires a long-term vision to outweigh the uncertainty stemming from a new federal administration, new ways of public communication, new players in Congress and so on. Moreover, it requires a solid project rooted in knowledge of the playing field and of the formal and informal rules related to investment. Our advice is to be aware of the existence of what Luis de la Calle called “extortionomics.” Integrity, transparency standards and accountability can shield companies against extortion, but companies must be aware of this reality to establish the best strategy to achieve their objectives without risk. To invest in Mexico, companies must be perseverant and see beyond what is right in front of them. Despite all this, Mexico is a country that offers excellent opportunities and has a prepared and committed workforce that is not easy to find in other countries. Human capital is one of Mexico’s biggest assets.

 

ANTONIO BASAGOITI

President of Spanish Chamber of Commerce (CAMESCOM)

A: Mexico is a country you have to bet on, regardless of the landscape. The international economy is complex and there is uncertainty in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, England and even in the US. We have a profound respect for the Mexican president since he was elected by the vast majority of Mexicans. Mexico has a young population profile, natural resources, an enviable geographic location, human capital many countries desire and development opportunities across energy, infrastructure, industry and tourism. This is one of the most attractive countries to be. If a company aims to have a sustainable, long-term business while contributing to economic and societal development, Mexico is the place to be.

 

ENRIQUE COVARRUBIAS

Chief Economist of Grupo Financiero Actinver

A: There is not a single Mexico. There is a Mexico that is highly integrated to the best production practices in the world. It is a Mexico that has an export focus, manufactures products with high added value, offers juridical certainty and a highly capitalized financial system. But there is a Mexico that is even bigger, where two-thirds of the workers are in the informal sector, that does not have a buffer against financial blows, that does not have access to basic services, that does not know how to improve its rule of law.

When an investor comes to Mexico, they usually just take notice of the average of the country; however, the average of the indicators does not reflect the diversity that exists, or the challenges and opportunities we face.

 

MARÍA FERNANDA GARZA

Chairman of ICC Mexico

A: Right now, investors want investment security and they are looking at macroeconomic numbers and stability indicators regarding transparency in processes, whether political or legislative. If some laws are going to be reconsidered in energy, oil and gas or any other industry, transparency is key in all processes. Investors are now weary because of the uncertainty caused by the new administration’s vision. Every action meant to reinforce Mexican institutions is going to be well-received by investors.

 

JORGE LUIS TORRES

President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)

A: AmCham companies consider Mexico as a strategic partner in the long run, as it is a great investment destination with growing opportunities for different sectors and talented workforce from prestigious academic institutions, innovation and government collaboration.  Mexico has serious challenges in security and Rule of Law. According to AmCham’s Business Security Survey 2018, 38% of the respondents invest more than 5% of its budget in security; this percentage has more than doubled since 2016. In security matters, companies worry the most about the safety of their employees and families (51.6%); information security (36%) and freight transport (35.7%). The binational business community is committed to Mexico. At AmCham, we will continue promoting ideas, grounded and timely information to build a sounder business environment, and best practices to boost formality, health, innovation, social responsibility, compliance and decent and inclusive work environments.   

 

LORENZO HERNÁNDEZ

Managing Partner of Ontier

A: It is necessary to understand the local idiosyncrasies and the way that business is done in Mexico and this process of adjustment can take a while, depending on the origin of the investor and the similitudes with their own countries. One of the main challenges we see companies face is finding a good local partner that can help with the transition process in Mexico.

Investors need to be patient and be aware that investments might take more time to reach maturity. In Mexico, business plans tend to be long term and, in as much as investors are able to adapt to the local business culture, they can have very successful ventures in Mexico.

Photo by:   Fernando Mol
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst