Business opportunities in Mexico for UK Companies

Business opportunities in
Mexico for UK Companies
Free Trade Agreements
Why Mexico?
Consumer Goods
Creative and Media
Financial Services
Food and Drink
Mining and Steel
Oil and Gas
Power and Energy
Leisure, Tourism Sports,
and Leisure Marine
Join the Most Successful Businesses
Mexico is a country full of opportunity
and there has never been a better time to
consider Mexico as a place to do business.
British perceptions of Mexico are frequently
inaccurate. Mexico is a modern, dynamic
place in which to do business. Mexican
Government and business are committed
to reducing their dependency on trade
with the USA. With its impressive network
of Free Trade Agreements (including North
America and the EU) and its strategic
location in-between the USA and Latin
America, Mexico has the potential to act
as a springboard into the region as well as
being an attractive market in its own right.
The past decade has seen sound
management of public finances, with
prolonged economic growth and stable
inflation. Mexico regularly ranks in the
top three emerging markets in which
to do business and is a country ready
and open for business. The UK exports
less to Mexico than many of our major
competitors. So, while the opportunity
clearly exists, others are taking greater
advantage of it.
This guide is intended to provide a brief
summary of the major opportunities for
British companies in Mexico. It is not
possible to list every opportunity here,
and indeed opportunities change rapidly.
But more information is available at or direct
from the UKTI Mexico team.
UK Trade & Investment is the British
Government organisation that helps UK
based companies succeed in the global
economy and assists overseas companies
to bring their high quality investments
to the UK. UK Trade & Investment has
a team of 30 people in Mexico dedicated
to helping British companies export. We
can provide a variety of help – bespoke
market reports, press and media services,
suggestions of business partners,
introductions and organisation of events.
We can tailor our work to your specific
needs. We aim to save you time, cost
and reduce the inevitable risks of doing
business in an overseas market. Our
contact details are provided throughout
this guide.
We look forward to welcoming you to
Mexico and to helping your business
succeed here.
Director of Trade & Investment
British Embassy
Mexico City
Mexico currently has free trade agreements
with 52 countries on three continents,
more than almost any other country in
the world. Mexico is expected to continue
expanding its network of agreements to
diversify its export markets and to attract
Mexican and foreign enterprises to invest
and reap the benefits of joint production
in a strategic location.
EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement
The EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement
allows British industrial goods and other
qualifying exports to enter Mexico tariff
free. This agreement also guarantees
access to public tender offers in Mexico
for EU companies.
NAFTA is the free trade agreement between
Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Since the advent of the EU-Mexico free trade
agreement, British manufacturers have been
able to export industrial goods to Mexico on
equal terms to those enjoyed by American
and Canadian exporters, as they do not pay
Mexican import duties. NAFTA may also
present advantages for British companies,
particularly in the absence of a free trade
agreement between the EU and the United
States. By establishing themselves in Mexico,
British companies can use Mexico as a
low-cost manufacturing base with direct,
duty-free access to the largest consumer
market in the world, the United States.
NAFTA has led to the creation of numerous
manufacturing operations based in Mexico
that are able to supply the USA and
Canadian markets. Excellent export
opportunities exist for British tier two and
tier three manufacturers who already
supply similar operations in Europe to
supply these operations in Mexico.
There has never been a better time to
consider Mexico as a place to do business,
given the limited growth rates in traditional
markets and the Mexican Government and
businesses' desire to reduce dependency on
trade with the USA. The past decade has
seen sound management of public finances
including economic growth and stable
inflation. Mexico is a country open for
business and regularly ranks in the top three
emerging markets in which to do business.
With a population of 107 million people,
including a large and growing middle class,
Mexico is a significant potential consumer
market. It is the UK's second largest export
market in Latin America after Brazil and it
is the number one receptor of Foreign
Direct Investment in Latin America. In fact,
the UK is one of the largest investors in
Mexico and demand for UK goods and
services extends across the economy from
sectors as diverse as education and
infrastructure to food and drink.
Mexico currently has free trade agreements
with 52 countries on three continents,
(more than almost any other country in
the world including North America and
the EU). There are no import duties on
industrial goods manufactured in the
UK entering Mexico. Combined with its
impressive network of Free Trade
Agreements is its strategic location
between the USA and Latin America,
meaning Mexico has the potential to act
as a springboard into
the region as well as being an attractive
proposition in its own right.
Mexico is perceived to be a tough
proposition, even for the seasoned
exporter, due to high levels of bureaucracy
and complicated procedures. In fact, doing
business in Mexico is no more difficult
than in other emerging markets, and in
many cases it is much easier.
The Government is actively working
to reduce bureaucracy and improve
competitiveness, and is driving forward
reforms to attract new investment and
diversify trade and many of the potential
pitfalls can be avoided with adequate
UK Trade & Investment helps companies
of all sizes do business in Mexico through
a network of international trade teams
based in the English regions and devolved
administrations. In Mexico, there are
dedicated trade & investment teams
based in Mexico City, Monterrey,
Guadalajara, Tijuana and Villahermosa.
Mexico is the largest military and commercial
aircraft market in Latin America. It has the
second largest business aircraft fleet in the
world and has a large private aviation
services industry to service the oil and
gas sector and provide executive transport.
Mexico is striving to develop the capacity to
assemble executive jets in the next 6-8 years.
Mexican aerospace imports are spread
evenly between aircraft and aircraft parts,
aero-engines and avionics. After China,
Mexico and Latin America is forecast
to be the second largest market for the
Aerospace sector in the next two decades.
The Mexican Government has targeted
aerospace as a strategic industry in its
economic development strategy.
Government, industry and academia
are co-ordinated in their approach
to attract foreign investment.
There are around 190 aerospace
manufacturing companies employing over
20,000 individuals. The main clusters are
located in the north and the Central State
of Queretaro. In recent years the sector
has attracted significant investments from
some of the largest companies in the
sector including Honeywell, Bombardier,
Bell, Cesna, GKN and Triumph.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Engine, electronic and landing system
components, plastic injection, heat
exchangers, precision machining, airfoil
repairs, audio & video systems, fuselage
insulation and interior parts.
Mexico exports over US$600 million in
aircraft parts. This figure is expected to
increase with exports forecast in the region
of US$900 million by 2010.
GKN Aerospace a first-tier supplier to the
global aviation industry began operations
in Mexico in 2001 through its association
with Mexicali in the north of Mexico.
Contact and Further Information
Originally, GKN's Mexican operations
consisted of a few machines and
employees making airplane turbine
cases. By 2008 the company underwent
a US$50 million expansion improving
its facilities and increasing its workforce
to 150 employees in the process.
• Engineering design and aeronautical
components for military and civil
• Machining parts, vacuum heat treatment
and chemical processing. There is low
availability of aerospace grade materials
for structural welding.
• Sheet metal fabricators of super alloys,
major sub-assembly companies, structure
manufacturers, tooling companies and
casting companies.
• Special/chemical processes and
non-destructive testing.
• Environmental solutions for reducing
emissions including noise emissions.
• Maintenance, repair and overhaul
• Support for the Mexican Air Force
and overhaul of their fleet.
A report on the Mexican aerospace sector
as well as more information about the
specific business opportunities, can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team in
British Consulate Monterrey
+52 81 8356 5359
Email: [email protected]
In 2008, GKN's senior managers met
representatives from UK Trade &
Investment at the Farnborough
International Airshow and together they
began working to seek out ways to further
expand GKN's Mexico operation. “The one
thing we were concerned about in Mexico
was our ability to fulfil our future skills
requirements," says Ardy Najafian, Director
GKN Mexicali. “We established some
training programmes at local technical
schools and universities, but have now
begun to seriously consider establishing our
own training facilities to ensure we have
a sufficient supply of technical specialists.
UK Trade & Investment’s leverage with
the state and federal agencies has been
instrumental in helping GKN Aerospace
in Mexicali move forward in this area."
Mexico is the eleventh largest automotive
producer in the world, currently producing
just over two million vehicles annually.
Mexico has also become the auto parts
hub for North America. The Automotive
sector in Mexico has attracted some of the
largest Original Equipment Manufacturers
(OEMs) from the USA and Japan and
provides excellent opportunities for supply
chains from tier one to tier four suppliers
(domestic and foreign).
In the past decade, Asian and European
auto-parts suppliers have invested heavily
in the USA and now analysts predict a
wave of new investment in Mexico. Major
investments by the main automakers and
new free-trade activity are triggering
further expansion as well as a move to
more advanced and lighter weight vehicles
and those with fewer emissions. Automobile
suppliers now see Mexico as a viable
production centre for all of North America.
UKTI’s office in Monterrey has good
relations with the main automotive
clusters including government offices such
as ProMexico, the Mexican organisation
responsible for foreign trade and direct
foreign investment and the main
automotive trade associations.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Demand for raw materials used
in the manufacture of spare parts
and components.
Mexico is the eleventh largest automotive
manufacturer in the world, and the most
important manufacturing platform for
the Americas.
• Components (engineered parts for
diagnostic and assembly equipment):
Braking systems, electrical components,
transmission and engine components,
moulded plastic section, stamped steel
parts steering assemblies, interior trims
and light weight alternative metals.
• Opportunities for tier one & two
suppliers: OEM parts & components,
hybrid vehicle components, materials,
stampings, electronic components,
equipment and specialised tooling.
Contact and Further Information
A report on the Mexican automotive
sector as well as more information about
the specific business opportunities can
be obtained by contacting the UKTI team
in Monterrey:
British Consulate Monterrey
+52 81 8356 5359
Email: [email protected]
COMAU Estil, a UK company in
advanced robotics, has developed
a new commercial partnership over
the last year, through their US
operation Comau Pico, a leading
Monterrey based automotive tier
one manufacturer. This successful
partnership was partly due to the
direct support from the UKTI office
in Monterrey. With this new
contract, COMAU will be providing
UK design and engineering
expertise to the one of the leading
automotive tier ones in Monterrey.
• High tech components and the
mainstream application of motor sport
technology and high-end manufacturing
and design automotive engineering.
• Supplies to the automotive after market
with an increasing emphasis on high
• From 2010, the NAFTA trade agreement
will allow the importation of used cars of
newer models with no restrictions. This will
provide a wide range of opportunities for
repair equipment and replacement parts.
The Consumer Goods sector in Mexico
has grown rapidly over the last five years
and prior to the current global economic
downturn, a growing middle class and
stable economy has seen an increase
in demand for imports including UK
sophisticated goods and services. The
sales increase that we observed in 2008
was directly related to the expansion of
the space to sell these products. The sector
grew 5.6 per cent in 2008. Sub-sectors
include cosmetics, shoes, jewellery, toys and
furniture. Although we expect a slowdown
in the growth of the consumer goods sector
during 2009, there will still be opportunities
to supply the Mexican market.
Luxury goods are the second most important
sector of business in the Mexican market
only after mass consumption products.
Mexico represents 55 per cent of the overall
sales of luxury goods in Latin America.
Key Fact
Business Opportunities
Contact and Further Information
• Increasing demand of high-end furniture
and interior design goods (cushions,
rugs, throws, decorative accessories in
general, tapestry, blinds, curtains, etc.).
More information about the specific
business opportunities for consumer goods
can be obtained by contacting the UKTI
team in Guadalajara:
• Designer fashion merchandise
(apparel, shoes and accessories).
British Trade Office Guadalajara
+52 33 3630 4357
Email: [email protected]
Mexico is the most important luxury-goods
market in Latin America and international
brands tend to experience rapid growth
after entering the Mexican market.
Since early 2008, a number of high-end
UK designer labels have established
themselves in Mexico.
In April 2008 the first Thomas Pink store
opened in Mexico City and it far exceeded
short-term investor expectations. A second
store started operations in July 2008, and
the opening of other stores around the
country took place in late 2008 and 2009.
Jonathan Heilborn CEO of Thomas Pink
said, “The Mexican market has shown a
growing demand for luxury goods and
we feel it was a terrific idea to bring
Thomas Pink stores to Mexico”.
In November 2008, Jeremy Hackett,
the British designer and owner of brand
“Hackett London", came to Mexico and
hosted the opening of its first retail
store in the country. The store is located
in the high-end and luxury mall, Antara
Polanco in Mexico City. The store has
shown continuous growth since they
started operations. Another store was
opened in December 2008 in the luxury
mall, Andares in Guadalajara.
Creative and Media is a growing sector
in Mexico and it accounted for 6.7 per
cent of GDP in 2008. During that year,
Mexico exported creative goods and
services to the value of US$4,271 million
and is ranked number one in terms of
creative economies in Latin America and
eighteenth worldwide. The growth of the
sector has created a large number of jobs
and made it the fourth most important
sector in the Mexican economy. Subsectors
include TV/broadcasting, film, publishing,
music and fashion where 11 per cent of
Mexican jobs are related to these industries.
In terms of entertainment, Mexico now
features on the tour schedule of most
mainstream British bands and is beginning
to feature more on the schedule of up and
coming bands. The cinema market is huge
in Mexico; in fact it's the largest cinema
market in Latin America.
Mexico will increase investment in the
internet publishing sector. By 2013, 2.2
per cent of the overall private investment
in the publishing sector will be targeted
to internet.
Business Opportunities
• Design Consultancy on products
and packaging.
• Consultancy on branding and marketing.
• Local TV companies are importing
material from the USA and Europe,
providing opportunities for TV
content production.
• Mexican companies are demanding
interactive and marketing content.
• There is a growing cinematographic
industry which is demanding
consultancy on development
and production financing.
• Publications and books written
in English.
Design Bridge, a branding agency who
creates and develops brands for a wide
range of prestigious companies, has
found success in Latin America after
designing the export packaging for
“Sol" beer manufactured by FEMSA,
one of the biggest beverage
manufacturers in Latin-America.
of Mexico. Through their initiatives we
have had enquiries from a number of
companies interested in our branding
services and continue connections
with a number of these. We will
continue to maintain our link with the
UK Trade & Investment team in Mexico
throughout 2009 and beyond.
The UKTI office in Guadalajara invited
Design Bridge to attend the “GuadalajaraMexico-UK Design Forum 2008" as well
as providing business agendas and
high-level contacts. The company took
the opportunity during this visit to
maintain their relationship with FEMSA
and to identify potential new customers.
The BBC recently started an operation
in Mexico. In July 2008, BBC Worldwide
and Televisa Networks, the largest Media
Company in the Spanish-speaking world,
signed a partnership deal to launch two
BBC branded channels: “BBC
Entertainment" and “Cbeebies", which
has been specially designed for Spanishspeaking pre-school children. Both have
a good audience in the Mexican market
and in December 2008, they started to
broadcast with another cable operator,
giving them a greater audience reach.
John Morris (Managing Director) said
“The UK Trade & Investment team in
Guadalajara have proved invaluable in
our cultural and business understanding
Key Fact
Contact and Further Information
The Creative Industries sector accounts for
7.3 per cent of the national GDP, making
it the fourth largest sector in Mexico.
A report on the Mexican creative industries
sector as well as more information about
the specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team in
British Trade Office Guadalajara
+52 33 3630 4357
Email: [email protected]
Education and training is a high priority for
the Mexican Government. The Government
currently spends 7.3 per cent of the GDP
on education. In the Government’s plans,
education in Mexico will concentrate on
five pillars: upgrading of the education
infrastructure; continuing to incorporate
ICT in classrooms; vocational training;
permanent evaluation and educational
reform. The Federal Education Ministry is
committed to reducing the urban-rural gap
by investment and technological training.
A new educational reform has come into
force, and a National IT Skills Programme
was introduced. The Programme aims
to create a major change in traditional
educational models of primary and lower
secondary, virtual lower secondary school
and the educational programmes for the
indigenous groups, by applying ICT
teaching models.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Specialised software for subject teaching
in schools.
In 2008-2009, 33 million students were
enrolled at all levels of the education
structure accounting for 31.4 per cent
of the Mexican population; with a faculty
of 1.7 million teachers in 242,000 schools.
This is about three times as many as
those enrolled in the UK.
• English language training courses/
material. There is a strong and
growing demand for English at all
levels, both within the private and
public education sector.
Contact and Further Information
• ICT education technologies (ICT learning
programmes, ICT training for teachers,
implementation of a “Digital School
Zone“, ICT infrastructure).
• Engineering teaching equipment for
laboratories and workshops. At the
higher and technological education
level, there is emphasis on software
and scientific instruments to teach
engineering and industrial skills.
• Teacher training aids.
Through the educational reform and the IT
Skills Programme, the Ministry of Education
has approved a US$40 million budget,
aiming to equip 350,000 classrooms and
700 ICT programmes for teachers by 2012.
A report on the Mexican education sector
as well as more information about the
specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team
in Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8543
Email: [email protected]
Michelsen Consulting Ltd is a British
company that specialise in designing
software for interactive business training
programmes. The Mexican subsidiary,
LABSAG (Laboratory for Business and
Management Solutions) has equipped
23 different universities and more than
100 campuses with business simulators
including some of the most prestigious
universities in Mexico including the
National Autonomous University of
Mexico (UNAM), the National Polytechnic
Institute (IPN) and the Technologic
Institute of Monterrey (ITESM).
They have been established in Mexico
since 2003 but Michelsen/LABSAG has
been most successful since 2006, seeing
100 per cent annual increases in sales.
Their projection shows that in the long
term (8-10 years), their sales could
exceed £2 million by equipping 30
universities per year.
• Software and didactic materials
for special needs.
• Vocational training on engineering
and industrial areas.
• Distance learning.
With the development of environmental
legislation and increasing awareness in
the country, Mexico’s environmental market
has been rapidly and steadily growing at an
annual average of 6 per cent since 2004.
According to the Mexican National Institute
of Ecology, it is the second most important
environmental market in Latin America
after Brazil.
Demographic and industrial growth has
placed extreme pressure on Mexico's
ecological systems. These trends have
caused the deterioration of air, water
and soil quality in most regions of the
country. In fact, the lack of clean water and
deforestation are actually considered national
security issues by the Mexican Government
and air pollution, particularly in Mexico City,
has long been a public health problem.
Mexico imports 80 per cent of its
environmental equipment and services to
fill the rising demand, which will generate
an increasing pool of good opportunities
for British companies. For environmental
technology exporters, a federal tax incentive
programme has been introduced allowing
private companies to write off the valueadded tax for the purchase of pollution
control equipment used to comply with
environmental regulations.
Climate change is a priority for the
Mexican Government, which has made
it a cornerstone of its 2007-2012 National
Development Plan, which is the basis for
the current administration's policies.
Ranking fourteenth for its greenhouse gas
emissions and generating about 1.6 per cent
of the world's total, Mexico has been a keen
and active player on climate change issues
on the international stage since 1992, when
it signed the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Business Opportunities
• Waste management and recycling.
• Water pollution control.
• Air pollution control.
• Contaminated land remediation.
• Environmental monitoring equipment.
• Environmental consultancy.
• Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
• Carbon trading.
Key Fact
Mexico is the fourth most active country in
CDM projects accounting for 187 projects
from 900 worldwide registered at the
United Nations Framework for Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC), behind
China, India and Brazil.
Contact and Further Information
A report on the Mexican environment
sector as well as more information about
the specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team in
Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8590
Email: [email protected]
EcoSecurities, a leading British
company in the business of sourcing,
developing and trading emission
reductions has been awarded a project
of Methane capture and utilisation in
Durango's (Northern Mexico) landfills.
By utilising EcoSecurities' technology,
Durango saves over a million US dollars
per year. By reducing the emissions
of this gas, the project is expected
to generate about 700,000 carbon
credits over 10 years, which represents a
considerable income for the municipality.
Following participation in a mission
organised by UK Trade & Investment,
EcoSecurities identified opportunities
in Mexico, including those in the area
of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
UKTI have since provided promotional
and networking support, involving
EcoSecurities in carbon market events
and helping them with useful contacts
and information.
EcoSecurities has other contracts for
Mexican landfill projects: three of these
have already been registered with the UN
(Tultitlan, Ecatepec and Aguascalientes).
The British company has other landfill
projects in Estado de Mexico.
There are two main areas of opportunity
for British companies within the financial
services sector: Public Private Partnerships
(PPPs) and listing on the exchanges.
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
With the help of UK advisors, the Mexican
Government introduced a PPP programme
based on the UK model. A total of nine
Federal PPP projects have been
implemented including three hospitals,
one university and five road projects.
There are ten more Federal PPP projects
in the pipeline including six hospitals and
four more road projects. At a state level
four PPP projects have been implemented,
all in the State of Mexico including a
cultural centre, a hospital, a road project
and a bridge. Mexican companies are keen
to form associations with British firms
with proven PPP experience in order to
participate in these projects.
Plans to extend PPPs further has been
reflected in President Calderon's National
Infrastructure Plan with projects including
prisons, police stations, hospitals, roads
and public transport projects.
Listing on the exchanges
Many of the major family-owned
conglomerates are reaching the point
where they need capital to grow and realise
their expansion plans, particularly into the
USA market. As they introduce professional
management, they are now starting to
meet international requirements for
accountability and transparency and have
begun to list in New York. London offers
an attractive alternative. The Stock
Exchange, Alternative Investment Market
(AIM) and Plus Markets translate into a
very appealing possible solution for them
and AIM is now actively promoting
themselves in the Mexican market.
Business Opportunities
• PPP's consultants/operators.
• Consortium managers.
• Contract management specialists.
• London Stock Exchange, Alternative
Investment Market, and Plus Market:
UK Nominated Advisors to explore the
Mexican marketplace for companies
with listing potential.
• Arbitration.
Key Fact
Currently, there are 19 Mexican PPP projects
including those already operating, those under
construction and some pending for bids.
Contact and Further Information
A report on the Mexican financial services
sector as well as more information about
the specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team in
Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+ 52 55 5242 8535
Email: [email protected]
In July 2008, Currie & Brown Mexico
(a Currie & Brown Limited subsidiary)
was the head advisor for the entire
procurement process as well as the
international advisor for the PPP
strategy for the new hospital in
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas State.
Due to the PPP strategy implemented
by the Federal Ministry of Health, the
hospital in Ciudad Victoria was officially
opened in March 2009. With an
estimated investment of £37 million
and a £209 million contract over 25
years, this regional hospital will provide
highly specialised medical services for
the north east States of Mexico.
With more than 100 beds, this hospital
is the second of the PPP wave of new
hospitals procured by the Mexican Private
Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme named
“Proyectos para Prestacion de Servicios”
(PPS). These hospitals will improve
substantially the provision of health
services in the area and in the country.
Changes to eating habits in a country with
a population of over 105 million, rising
living standards and the spread of large USA
style supermarkets have led to an increase
in the import of foreign foods. The USA,
France, Spain and Germany are doing well
in this sector as are some British companies.
Beer consumption in Mexico per capita in
2007-2008 was approximately 58.5 litres.
There are about 63 million potential beer
consumers and every year this number
increases by about one million (from
consumers that reach drinking age).
Grupo Modelo and Femsa Cerveza have about
97 per cent of the beer market in Mexico.
This has limited the inclusion of foreign
brands to between 2 per cent and
3 per cent of the Mexican Market.
Unilever, Cadbury Adams and Diageo are clear
examples of how UK companies are operating
and doing business successfully in the
Mexican market. In 2009, Cadbury Adams
announced that they will invest US$250
million within the next five years in Mexico as
Mexico is their fourth most important market.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Niche products such as delicatessen,
gourmet, and organic foods. Includes
natural and dietary products.
Mexico is the world’s second biggest
consumer of soft drinks. It is estimated
that the average daily consumption per
person is three soft drinks or 300 million
soft drinks per day!
• Food and drink products reflecting
health concerns, weight loss and a
healthy way of living.
• Food and drink products that address
the needs of an ageing population
including calcium rich and energy
specific products.
• Ready to drink beverages and beer.
• Specialised food and packaging
machinery given the need for many
companies to renovate existing machinery
to satisfy health and safety standards.
Contact and Further Information
A report on the Mexican food and drink
sector as well as more information about
the specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team in
British Trade Office Guadalajara
+52 33 3630 4357
Email: [email protected]
Until 2008, Mexico was one of the
tougher markets for foreign beers.
There was no presence of UK beers in
the market until 2008 when Cervecería
Minerva started the distribution of Fullers.
In the same year, UK Trade & Investment
Mexico helped Vallance Imports and
Exports by introducing them to City
Market, which is a premium and
gourmet store and one of the largest
Mexican supermarkets. Other UK
brands now available in Mexico
are Charles Wells, Youngs, St Peters
and Hobgoblin.
Now Mexicans are enjoying some British
beers without travelling to the UK.
• Dairy products and services including
refrigeration, packaging and advertising.
• Sweets and confectionery, given that the
market share of imported confectionery
is increasing and as of 2009 is
approximately 25 per cent.
Given the size of the market and changes to
eating habits, opportunities exist for British
companies. There is a continuing increase
in the imports of foreign food and drinks. As
the Mexican market is price and quality driven,
opportunities exist for both investing in the
retail sector and for selling to the market.
Healthcare provision is a high priority
for the current president’s administration
(2006-2012). President Calderon’s National
Healthcare Programme will concentrate
on six main pillars: universal healthcare
coverage; high care; reinforcement of
infrastructure; prevention and promotion of
health; a fair and adequate drug policy and
an effective and dynamic health regulation.
The Expenditure Budget approved for
2009 included over US$8,544 million for
the healthcare sector, 11 per cent higher
than the 2008 budget. The private sector
market is valued at US$7,394 million and
the governmental market, through social
security, is estimated at US$1,850 million.
Within the six pillars, President Calderon’s
priority is to achieve universal health
coverage, by focusing on the following
four areas:
• Boosting the country's hospital
infrastructure. In 2007 alone, over
US$3.39 million were invested in
the expansion and modernisation
of hospitals, clinics and health units.
• A national promotion and
prevention strategy.
• Health Caravans, a plan that will provide
medical services for the country’s most
isolated communities that lack sufficient
medical infrastructure, mainly
indigenous villages and communities.
• Strategy for supplying medication at
health institutions; US$324 million are
now available to boost supplies at
hospitals and units in the health sector.
UK/Mexico relations in the Healthcare
sector are good and Mexico wishes to
adopt the NHS model, focusing on the
fundamental concepts of free at the
point of delivery and universal coverage.
Within the Healthcare sector the
pharmaceutical and MedTech market have
been the most dynamic, offering the most
opportunities. This market accounts for
approximately 1.21 per cent of the national
GDP, generating US$11,376 million – a
figure which is constantly increasing.
Business Opportunities
• PPPs (Private and Public Partnerships).
• Biomedical products.
• Investment and supply of pharmaceuticals.
• Medical equipment.
• Healthcare promotion.
• Training in PPP hospital management.
• Training in geriatrics.
• Consultancy and training for nurses.
• Consultancy in institutional reform.
• Quality assessment and management.
• Accountability.
• Telemedicine.
• Medical informatics.
• GP training in prescribing, team
building, management, etc.
• Primary healthcare and paramedics.
• Patient Safety.
Key Fact
The pharmaceutical market in Mexico is
now the largest in Latin America and it is
the ninth largest in the world.
Contact and Further Information
A report on the Mexican healthcare sector
as well as more information about the
specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team
in Mexico City:
Smiths Medical has achieved continued
growth by manufacturing its medical
supplies in Mexico. After opening their
first factory in 1999, its Mexican plants
are now responsible for producing
around 40 per cent of the company’s
“We have more than 3,000 employees
in Mexico,” says Lorenzo Casas, Director
of Smiths Medical’s operations in
Monterrey. “We have three factories in
Tijuana and one in Monterrey. We make
thousands of products and take great
pride that these goods are shipped
to the USA, Europe, Japan and Asia.
We have achieved significant cost
savings by transferring some of
our production to Mexico.”
Smiths Medical has been in close touch
with UK Trade & Investment since it
came to the country. “There are many
opportunities in Mexico, but it helps
tremendously to have the right contacts,”
says Lorenzo. “UK Trade & Investment
can really help businesses with their
great contacts in the Government
and in private industry”
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8543
Email: [email protected]
In 2007 the Mexican Government
produced a five year National Infrastructure
Development Plan, providing US$250 billion
of new investment. An additional US$200250 billion was allocated to be spent on
housing, taking total expenditure
to approximately US$500 billion. A significant
number of projects have already been
undertaken but there are still opportunities
aplenty for British companies to get involved.
In addition to the National Infrastructure
Plan, urban development is seen as a
priority sector for the Government.
Currently there are plans for the
development of approximately 20 new
satellite cities that include the appropriate
social infrastructure to create successful
sustainable communities, with adequate
infrastructure links to the main cities.
Business Opportunities
The plan aims to finance transport
infrastructure projects; developing roads,
railways, airports & ports as well as
telecommunications, water supply and
sanitation, irrigation and flood control
infrastructure, electricity, oil and gas
production and refinery, gas and
Despite the current global economic crisis,
the National Infrastructure Plan is considered
decisive for the development of the country,
and all necessary efforts will be employed
to work towards this goal. In response to
the economic slowdown, President Calderón
announced emergency spending proposals,
which actually include stepping up public
spending, especially on infrastructure,
including roads, schools, houses, prisons
and a new oil refinery.
• Consulting engineers.
• Facilities managers.
(Roads, ports, airports and railways).
• PPP specialists.
• Equipment and machinery suppliers.
• Roads, ports, airports and railways
security consultants.
Copies of the National Infrastructure
Plan and further details of the projects
are available from the UKTI Infrastructure
Team in Mexico, contact details opposite.
McBains Cooper, an interdisciplinary
property and construction consultancy
based in London, opened an office in
Mexico City in October 2008. By mid 2009,
its success had surpassed its expectations
including having expanded their staff from
one to twenty. Over the next four years, the
company expects to double its business
and increase the size of its office.
The company chose Mexico City as
a base, hoping to benefit from the
Mexican Government’s US$250 billion
investment programme to improve the
country’s infrastructure.
“We saw that we needed to expand
beyond the UK to keep growing,” says
Santiago Klein, Managing Director at
McBains Cooper International. UK Trade
& Investment has guided us through the
process of expanding our company in
Mexico. From initial advice to the many
contacts it has introduced us to, UK
Trade & Investment has been a real
support. What I have found is that more
than just making introductions or
sending a letter with the UK Trade
& Investment letterhead, the team
there is committed to our success and
continually follows our progress.”
In the months since it opened its Mexico
City office, McBains Cooper has secured
both private and publicly financed
contracts. A contract for its largest project
in Mexico to date came about as a result of
an introduction to the Governor of Tabasco
by UK Trade & Investment, and the
company is now advising the Government
on procurement for the development of
a new city in the Tabasco state.
Key Fact
Contact and Further Information
The Suburban Rail system in Mexico City
started operations in 2008 making it the
first new passenger rail service in decades.
Reports on the Mexican construction
sector, ports, railways, airports and the
water sector as well as more information
about the specific business opportunities
can be obtained by contacting the UKTI
team in Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8580
Email: [email protected]
Mexico is a major supplier of metals
including silver, ranked second in the
world, lead (fifth), zinc (seventh), copper
(thirteenth) and gold (fourteenth). Today
137 foreign enterprises are contributing
to the investment and exploration of
Mexico’s mining sector. Many new
investments are beginning to come to
fruition. In Mexico the mining extraction
sector is second in terms of investment
and it sees stable yearly growth.
Mexico is the sixteenth largest producer
of steel in the world and the second
largest producer in Latin America with a
production of 17.6 million tonnes in 2008
and an installed capacity of 22.4 million
tonnes. Mexico has considerable appeal
as a steel producer, and factors like
receptivity to foreign investment are
encouraging major players in steel end-use
sectors such as automotive and electrical
equipment to establish extensive and
sophisticated manufacturing facilities
in Mexico. The industry’s input cost
advantage, which includes labour,
electricity and gas, enables it to profitably
and competitively export steel products.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Mexico also has major opportunities
in mineral exploration.
According to the 2009 edition of “Ranking
of Countries for Mining Investment” by
BEHRE DOLBEAR, Mexico occupies fifth
place worldwide in the lowest risks for
mining investment table, after Canada,
Australia, Chile and the USA.
• Mexico has eleven giant deposits of silver,
three of copper, two of molybdenum, five
of zinc, one of lead, one of manganese and
one of fluorite. These deposits represent
opportunities for exploration, machinery,
tools, consultancy and new technology.
• Companies with expertise in feasibility
studies have also big opportunities in
the mining sector in Mexico.
• The iron and steel industry in Mexico
is experiencing intellectual challenges.
Companies are open to R&D that can
provide the know-how and knowledge in
different fields such as new technologies,
composites material, new applications,
demand and price forecast, among others.
Contact and Further Information
Information about the specific business
opportunities for the mining and steel
sector can be obtained by contacting
the UKTI team in Monterrey:
British Consulate Monterrey
+52 81 8356 5359
Email: [email protected]
Compañía Fresnillo, a 100 per cent
subsidiary of Industrias Peñoles,
assumed control of the precious metals
mining operations, and subsequently
a British entity was created, in London,
in order to then merge them. On May
14, 2008, Industrias Peñoles made a
successful primary and secondary
placement of Fresnillo shares, and
Fresnillo plc was listed on the London
Stock Exchange. Fresnillo plc is a public
company with its own governing body,
administrative structure and corporate
governance, and taxed under Mexican
law. Peñoles, through its subsidiary,
thus became the first Mexican company
to trade in that market. At the close
of 2008, Industrias Peñoles held a
77.1 per cent stake in Fresnillo plc.
• In the next five years, the ironworks
sector in Mexico will invest about
US$10,000 million to grow and diversify
their products, replacing imports.
• Home supplies such as stoves and
refrigerators continue to grow in demand;
therefore materials such as steel and
copper are being required much more.
Mexico is the sixth largest oil producer in
the world and ranks eighteenth in terms
of gas production. PEMEX, the State
National Oil Company, requires resources
to the value of US$22 billion per year
in Capital Expenditure. The focus is to
maintain production in declining fields,
a more efficient exploitation of proven
reserves, a move towards deep-water
reserves and to increase security and
minimise environmental impact.
While the great majority of the oil and gas
industry is in the hands of the nationalised
oil company PEMEX (third largest producer
in the world and eleventh in terms of
sales), there are opportunities for UK
companies, particularly for equipment and
service suppliers. PEMEX has oil reserves
of 45 billion barrels and proven reserves
equivalent to 9.2 years of production.
Key Fact
Onshore and Offshore
• Platform design and construction.
Mexico is the world's sixth largest oil
producing country (after China, Saudi
Arabia, the Russian Federation, the USA,
and Iran) producing approximately 2.7
million barrels per day and has the world's
fifteenth largest oil proven reserves.
Mexican oil giant PEMEX awarded
a US$150 million contract to
Mexican engineering company
Techint S.A. DE C.V. and its technology
supplier, Manchester based Costain
Oil, Gas & Processes Ltd.
Contact and Further Information
The project is due for completion by
late 2009 and involves the installation
of the world’s largest nitrogen rejection
unit at PEMEX’s Ciudad Pemex gas
plant in Tabasco, Mexico. The facility
has a capacity of 630 million SCFD
(standard cubic feet per day).
• Decommissioning of production
• Design, construction, installation
and commissioning of pipelines.
• Receiving terminals and
production facilities.
• Exploration and appraisal drilling.
• Production operations.
• Environmental control.
• Regional geological studies
(including 3D and 2D seismic).
British firms are already participating in
Mexico’s shallow waters, but there is more
potential to make Mexico's future deepwater
production a safe, clean and efficient one.
• Reservoir appraisal and
exploration techniques.
In October 2008, an energy reform
was passed by the Mexican Government.
The reform means that PEMEX has been
granted greater autonomy for decision
making, alleviating some of their previous
restrictions and therefore are more open
to doing business with foreign companies.
• Deep water technologies.
Business Opportunities
• Training and education.
• Develop heavy and extra heavy oil
recovery technologies that are technically
and economically advantageous.
A report on the Mexican oil and gas sector
as well as more information about the
specific business opportunities can be
obtained by contacting the UKTI team
in Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+ 52 55 5242 8534
Email: [email protected]
The UK Trade & Investment team at
the British Embassy in Mexico has
given Costain support and advice
throughout the project bidding process,
which started in 2000. The embassy
has provided valuable information on
decision makers in the market, as well
as advice on local business etiquette
and local market knowledge.
Mexico's power sector is controlled by two
state-owned companies, the largest being
Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE),
which generates and sells electricity across
the whole country. The second is Luz y
Fuerza del Centro (LyFC), responsible for
producing and selling electricity only in
Mexico City's metropolitan area.
Although CFE and LyFC are the main
clients for products and services related
to power in Mexico, there are many other
opportunities in Mexico for generation
and control equipment, energy efficiency
and other equipment and services required
by private companies which in most of the
cases can be supplied without tendering.
There were about 30 million electricity
contracts in 2008 in Mexico reaching
97 per cent of the population. Mexico had
a total power generation of 234,096 GWh
during 2008. It expects to invest over
US$21,000 million in building new
generating plants according to the
programme prepared by the CFE.
Mexico promotes the use of renewable
energy to generate clean energy. In late
2012, it is expected that geothermal energy
and wind power will grow from 2 per cent
to 6 per cent of the total installed capacity.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• Combined cycle plants maintenance
and reconfiguration.
• Plants modernisation and maintenance.
• Hydroplants reconfiguration.
• Metering.
• Interconnection projects.
• Transmission lines and substations.
• Co-generation projects with the
National Oil Company, Pemex.
• Renewable and cleaner technologies.
• Energy efficiency systems.
• Mini hydro technologies.
• Solar energy technologies.
• Wind energy projects.
• Clean development mechanism.
Total installed capacity in Mexico is now
51,105MW, with the following sources:
• Power independent producers (11,457MW)
• Hydropower plants
• Thermal power plants
(consuming hydrocarbons)
• Coal fired plants
(2,600.0 MW)
• Geothermal power plants
(965 MW)
• Nuclear power plants
(1,365 MW)
• Wind-driven power plants
(85 MW)
Contact and Further Information
Report on the Mexican power and
renewable energy sectors as well as
more information about the specific
business opportunities can be obtained by
contacting the UKTI team in Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8534
Email: [email protected]
SM Seals, a Somerset-based engineering
solutions company, participated in the
supply of a mechanical shaft seal for the
auxiliary turbine at the El Cajon project in
Mexico which started generating electricity
in the first quarter of 2007. With 750MW
generation capacity, El Cajon is the second
largest hydroelectric project ever built
by Federal Energy Commission (CFE).
SM Seals were awarded the contract to
design and supply the auxiliary turbine
shaft seal for the project. The high
shaft rotation speed of this application
presented unique problems, which SM
Engineers were able to overcome. SM
Seals’ products are custom-built items
and are 100 per cent designed, tested,
manufactured and built in the UK.
SM Seals specialise in the design, testing
and supply of axial mechanical seals for
the power generation industry, particularly
hydro power. Approximately 90 per cent
of their products are exported worldwide.
SM Seals participated in a UKTI
commercial mission and started
contact with CFE engineers. UKTI Mexico
continued to support SM Seals during their
negotiations in Mexico providing market
information and meeting programmes.
The Security sector in Mexico embraces
a wide range of activities relating to the
Local, State and Federal Government's
delivery of crime prevention and
investigation, protection of people, property
and assets; and law enforcement in general.
Since taking office in December 2006,
President Calderón has made security one
of his top priorities. A new law on Public
Security, aimed at boosting co-ordination
between federal, state and public security
institutions to reduce corruption and
impunity has been ratified. The law also
seeks to allow police greater freedom to
investigate crime and professionalise the
work of the security forces translating into
the creation of the Ministerial Police.
New Federal Security Programmes have
been developed that concentrate on civilian
security, law enforcement, and serious and
organised crime. These programmes include
significant budget increases to departments
in charge of public security at the state and
municipal level; approval of the creation of
a National Policing Evaluation Centre and
a National Council for Public Security; a
new federal law to confiscate goods and
properties of organised crime; the creation
of a national criminal database register
and security forces. Also, the Federal
administration along with a number of
State and Municipal Governments are
continually assessing assets and where
identified the need, restructuring and
replacing current systems by renovating
specialised teams and equipment.
Innovative technologies will replace
outdated systems in a number of areas.
Business Opportunities
• IT infrastructure.
• Automatic license plate recognition systems.
• Voice detection systems.
• Explosive detection equipment.
• Sophisticated CCTV cameras.
• X-ray systems.
• Data management software.
• Mobile phone jammers.
• Sophisticated biometrics.
• Sophisticated anti-riot equipment.
• Security infrastructure developers.
• Training.
Key Fact
Mexico is creating a new Federal Police
force with more investigative powers
leading to a demand for security
products and services.
Contact and Further Information
Information about the specific business
opportunities for the Mexican security
and defence sector can be obtained by
contacting the UKTI team in Mexico City:
British Embassy Mexico City
+52 55 5242 8535
Email: [email protected]
Early in 2009, NDI technology, a
UK security company, acquired Appian
Technology, a company which specialises
in developing and manufacturing
automatic number plate recognition
(ANPR) systems including vehicle
identification, traffic management, parking
guidance and car park management for
surveillance, counter terrorism, access
control and congestion charging.
After several familiarisation visits to
Mexico, UKTI Mexico assisted Appian
Technology by organising meetings with
senior Mexico City Authorities. After the
visit programme, UKTI directly matched
Appian with a suitable agent in Mexico,
Tasser Technologies. Appian Technologies
and its agent in Mexico were awarded
a £350,000 contract by the Mexican City
Public Security Ministry for the provision of
mobile number plate recognition systems.
New contracts worth over £350,000 for
Appian and its agent in Mexico have
followed with authorities in the States
of Mexico, Tlaxcala, and Morelos.
UKTI Mexico has subsequently been
closely involved in helping NDI develop
its contacts network, market intelligence
and business opportunities through other
services, such as road-shows, through a
number of States in the country.
Mexican telecommunications is an
ever-changing and increasingly profitable
market. The recent proliferation of wireless
communications in Mexico has been so
extraordinary that the country is now
considered one of the region’s most
promising markets for wireless
equipment and services.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
• IT equipment for SMEs.
The Mexican video games market is worth
US$400 million per year, and it is the
fourth largest market in the world.
The IT and software sector is growing
fast in Mexico. In 2008 it experienced
a growth of 15 per cent. The Mexican
Government expects to see a further
growth of 15 per cent between 2009 and
2013, hoping to generate sales of
US$15,000 million. In 2008, US$49
million was allocated to the Programme
for the Development of the Software
industry in order to expand the market.
• Wholesalers are promoting the migration
to a specialised model of distribution
focused on solutions like consultancy,
outsourcing, technical support, etc.
that can contribute to higher profits.
• Integration on wireless connectivity
solutions for mobility, VoIP and servers.
Contact and Further Information
• Electronic consumption products such as
MP3 players, mobile phones, PDAs, etc.
• There is an expected growth of file
storage equipment i.e. USBs and
removable hard drives.
A report on the Mexican ICT sector as
well as more information about the specific
business opportunities can be obtained
by contacting the UKTI team in Tijuana:
British Trade Office Tijuana
+52 664 615 80 46
Email: [email protected]
• Specific equipment for areas of high
growth including multifunction
equipment, digital cameras, handhelds,
and telecomm equipment (voice and data).
• Training on English language for the
electronics industry. About 70 per cent
of graduates interested in working in
the IT industry do not speak English.
• Recycling of electronic components.
Mexico holds an important place in the
International tourist market which in turn
is also very important for Mexico’s economy.
According to the World Tourism Organisation
(WTO), Mexico had 21.4 million tourists in
2008 which equated to US$12.9 billion in
tourism revenue. The substantial level of
investment (both foreign and domestic)
and influx of travellers have shaped the
strategy of the tourism industry. New world
class developments and competitive prices
means there is a shift to target a more
upscale market, especially in the Northwest
(Sinaloa, Sonora, Baja California Sur and
Baja California) where the newest tourism
destinations are being developed. Ecotourism,
golf and sailing are some of the areas these
new developments are focusing on.
In Mexico there are around 220 golf
courses and each year more are constructed.
According to the Association of Golf Courses
for the Mexican Caribbean, by this year they
expect to build at least 16 golf courses.
The Leisure Marine sector in Mexico has
gone through changes in the last 30 years.
The establishment of world class tourism
resorts in the Baja California Peninsula
and the Mayan Riviera has impacted on
the yachting and sport fishing industry
and we have seen an increase in Mexicans
buying yachts.
The Mexican coastline has developed into
a preferred destination by American, Latin
American and European tourists. According
to “Condé Nast Traveller”, Mexico has 18
of the top hotels and resorts in the world
and attracts the type of tourist that is
accustomed to fine sailing, and world
class dining and lodging.
There are many synergies between the
Mexican and British sports market and
companies can find a large growing
market in which to sell their products.
The most popular sports in Mexico are:
football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis,
motor sports, boxing and sailing.
Future sporting events being planned and
bid for will also signal opportunities for
British companies looking to supply the
local market. In 2011 Guadalajara, will host
the Panamerican Games and Mexico is
currently bidding for the 2018 World Cup.
Business Opportunities
Key Fact
Leisure and Tourism:
• Golf course designers, developers, advice
on maintenance and construction and
• Hotel and resort investors.
• Hospitality technology.
• Specialised and niche products related
to the hospitality sector.
• Leisure marine.
Sports shoes are the largest segment of
sports apparel in Mexico, worth about
US$350 million. Almost one in every three
pairs of shoes sold in Mexico are sports
shoes, according to Fila Mexico.
• Sports infrastructure.
• Golf course designers, developers, advice
on maintenance and construction and
• Sports and recreational products.
• Sports apparel.
Contact and Further Information
Reports on the Mexican marine, leisure
and tourism sectors as well as more
information about the specific business
opportunities can be obtained by
contacting the UK Trade & Investment
team in Tijuana:
British Trade Office Tijuana
+52 66 4615 8046
Email: [email protected]
Leisure Marine:
• Development of marinas.
• Crew training and licensing.
• Navigation and waterway management.
• Safety, rescue systems and insurance.
• Maintenance and repair facilities.
• Parts, supplies, materials and services
related to maintenance and repair of
pleasure boats and yachts.
For UK-based companies wishing to
develop their business in Mexico,
UK Trade & Investment can offer: specialist
guidance, market reports, sales leads and
programme arranging services, assistance
with the organisation of promotional
events and publicity as well as access to
its local network of contacts.
For more information please contact the
UK Trade & Investment team in Mexico.
Sector contacts are listed on the relevant
sector page of this booklet. For general
enquiries the contact details are:
+52 55 5242 8500
A range of UK Government support is available from a portfolio of initiatives
called Solutions for Business. The “solutions” are available to qualifying
businesses, and cover everything from investment and grants through to
specialist advice, collaborations and partnerships.
UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that helps UK-based
companies succeed in the global economy, and is responsible for the delivery of
the two SfB products “Developing Your International Trade Potential” and
“Accessing International Markets”.
We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the
UK’s dynamic economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to
succeed in global business.
UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through its extensive
network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic
offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to
be competitive on the world stage.
For further information please visit
or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000.
Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate,
neither UK Trade & Investment nor its parent Departments (the Department for Business, Enterprise
& Regulatory Reform, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) accept liability for any errors, omissions
or misleading statements, and no warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any
individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned.
The paper in this document is made from 50 per cent recycled waste pulp with 50 per cent pulp from
well-managed forests. This is a combination of Totally Chlorine Free and Elemental Chlorine Free.
The inks are vegetable oil-based and contain resins from plants/trees and the laminate on the cover is
sustainable, compostable and can be recycled.
Published May 2009 by UK Trade & Investment
©Crown Copyright
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