Jael Duran
Managing Director
Canadian Chamber of Commerce CanChamMx
Expert Contributor

40 Years Fostering the Mexico-Canada Relationship

By Jael Duran | Fri, 06/10/2022 - 11:00

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the voice of Canadian business in Mexico. It was founded in 1982 to represent Canadian business interests in our country and to promote trade and investment between Canada and Mexico.

CanCham represents more than 300 Canadian and non-Canadian companies, from multinational corporations to SMEs. CanCham members come from all industrial sectors, located in different states of the Mexican Republic that have investment from Canada, including aerospace, transportation, energy, manufacturing and mining.

CanCham Mexico, as we are commonly known by the business community, has been fostering the Mexico-Canada relationship for 40 years. Our Chamber of Commerce has been a pillar to increase opportunities and prosperity for our people and we are committed to continue working toward these goals through representativeness, visibility, and connectivity.

But the relationship between Mexico and Canada started back in 1944 and since the establishment of diplomatic relations, exchanges between both countries have been strengthening and diversifying.

Our countries have strong commercial ties that have grown constantly since NAFTA came into force in 1993. NAFTA energized the bilateral relationship, government dialogue, and business and academic-cultural ties. Today, the relationship is strategic, broad, and deep. Canada became Mexico's third-largest trading partner and the second-leading destination for Mexican exports. Trade between Mexico and Canada has increased by nine times, going from US$4 billion in 1993 to US$36.1 billion in 2014.

The ratification of the new NAFTA – TMEC or USMCA – marked an important milestone in the evolution of our trade history. USMCA will continue to strengthen the economic ties between our two countries, support well-paid jobs, and provide a much-needed boost for our economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The new agreement modernizes several chapters, and addresses current trade issues, such as electronic trade, small and medium-sized enterprises, regulatory cooperation, labor, and the environment.

“Canada’s long-standing trade relationship with the United States and Mexico under NAFTA and now the new modernized NAFTA, has been a model for the world. Through people-to-people and business-to-business ties, we have built one of the most competitive trade regions in the world," said Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade a.

Thanks to the ratification of the new NAFTA, the political dialogue intensified and became more frequent. This is reflected in the various daily meetings held by both the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada, as well as other members of the federal cabinet.

Canada is the third leading source of foreign direct investment for Mexico, below USA and Spain.  This has translated into a greater presence of Canadian companies in Mexico and the growth of the Mexico-Canada business community.

Due to the constant relationship with Canada, our Chamber continues to gain strength. Today, we provide support to most Canadian companies established in Mexico through our three chapters: Mexico City, Bajio and the western chapter.

In November 2021 we opened our new office in Guadalajara with the aim of promoting trade and investment between Canada and the western part of Mexico. Since 2015, we have had a presence in the Bajio area with an office in Queretaro.

This coming September, CanCham will turn 40 and more than ever all the actions and activities organized by our Chamber will aim to provide to all our members and partners a consolidated platform where they can find new business opportunities for their companies, solutions to challenges and potential problems they may face within their commercial sectors and opportunities to create synergies and cooperative links. This, to grow toward a more robust commercial relationship between Canada and Mexico.

Photo by:   Jael Duran