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Manufacturing everything but the numbers

Article - May 23, 2012
Assistance and hard facts are on hand for those looking at Mexico's proactive business climate
Mexico’s solid financial credentials, optimistic economic outlook, raft of free trade agreements and geostrategic location are just a few of the many factors making it increasingly attractive to international companies looking to set up in Latin America.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico totaled US$19.4 billion in 2011, up from US$16 billion in 2009. The central bank holds a record US$142.5 billion in reserve – ready to tackle any potential financial crisis – and the country’s exports and imports are reported to be in near perfect balance.

The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business in Mexico 2012’ survey focuses on federal, state and municipal regulations that affect four stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, and enforcing contracts. The report finds that each of the 31 states and Mexico City in the survey has improved in at least one of the benchmarked areas, making it easier for local entrepreneurs to start and operate a business. It highlights that since 2006 the implementation of business start-up reforms have slashed the time it takes to launch a business from 36 days to 15 days. Likewise, property registration reforms reduced delays in property transfers from 44 days to 30 days, a 35% time saving.

North American companies continue to see Mexico as an attractive manufacturing destination. Some 63% of foreign investors surveyed by business advisory firm AlixPartners named Mexico as the most attractive country for locating manufacturing operations close to the U.S.

The government agency ProMexico promotes direct investment in Mexico as well as exports by Mexican manufacturers, and aims to ensure such facts are readily available for the international investment community.

According to ProMexico, exports in the Mexican aerospace industry have grown 140% in the past five years and the country was recently ranked as the sixth major supplier of aerospace products to the European Union (Eurostat) and the ninth to the United States.

One in eight cars sold in America are made in Mexico, the second largest vehicle producer in Latin America. It is the sixth largest exporter of medical instruments and surgical, dental and veterinary appliances. The country is the third largest producer of silver in the world and represents about 16% of world production. It is also the second largest exporter of television sets in the world and the largest producer of organic coffee on the planet.

For two consecutive years, Mexico was ranked the best country for retirement out of a total of 29 countries, based on the Annual Retirement Index by International Living.

“Do not believe everything you see on TV,” says Carlos Guzman, CEO of ProMexico. “We have a long, well established relationship with the U.S. and people should see us as a great business opportunity. Although we do not speak the same language, we do think the same when it comes to business. Mexico is a growing country; we will be the world’s eighth biggest economy by 2050.”