A ROBUST AND VARIED TRADE RELATIONSHIP
Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America and the 16th-largest in the world; projections call for strong GDP growth of 5% for Mexico in 2021. A large, diversified economy with deep trade and investment relations with the U.S., it is also the second-largest export market for U.S.-produced goods ($213 billion in 2020), as well as for Wisconsin exports ($2.6 billion in 2020, down from $3.3 billion in 2019 before the pandemic began). Wisconsin exports to Mexico have more than doubled over the last 10 years, and they now account for more than one-tenth of total Wisconsin exports. Mexico’s purchases from Wisconsin surpass Wisconsin’s exports to China, Germany and the UK combined. Mexico continues to experience stable economic growth, and the recent U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement has opened new opportunities in Mexico for U.S. companies.
MAKING BUSINESS CONNECTIONS VIRTUALLY
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads a Global Trade Venture to Mexico once a year to help Wisconsin exporters grow their exports to this important market. Given the ongoing pandemic and the fact that many Mexican office workers are still working remotely and looking to limit in-person contact, WEDC’s 2022 Global Trade Venture to Mexico will be taking place virtually from Feb. 19-26, 2022, with the option for some meetings to take place outside of these dates to accommodate participants’ schedules. This virtual global trade venture will give Wisconsin exporters the opportunity to meet prospective partners and customers, without the risks inherent in international travel and face-to-face meetings. As the world reopens from the pandemic, companies will emerge stronger if they take steps now to pursue opportunities and new ways of doing business—and WEDC is here to support them.
During the virtual trade venture to Mexico, participants will be scheduled for one-on-one meetings with potential partners in the market. These partners are identified based on each participating company’s specific goals and objectives. Each participant in the trade venture will also receive a Mexico market assessment detailing considerations they should keep in mind when introducing their product or service into the market. WEDC has eyes and ears on the ground in Mexico, in the form of Wisconsin’s authorized trade representative—thus making it easier for Wisconsin companies to find local partners they can trust, taking some of the guesswork out of launching in a new market or growing exports within the market. With all your appointments arranged for you, you can focus on business rather than logistics and scheduling.
In this virtual model, Wisconsin companies can connect with partners at any location in Mexico—rather than being limited to one or two cities in the typical model of an in-person trade venture—and the virtual trade venture also comes at a very affordable price, since the costs of airfare and lodging do not apply. The virtual trade venture will take place over the course of two weeks—instead of the usual one-week duration for an in-person trade venture—which tends to make finding meeting times easier and also means Wisconsin participants won’t need to be out of the office for the entire duration of the trade venture (since meetings will be scheduled intermittently, rather than back to back).
As a large, trade-dependent economy with close geographic proximity to the U.S., Mexico is an ideal market for new-to-export companies as well as those seeking to further expand their business/distribution networks in country. Mexico should be a key component of an export growth strategy for Wisconsin companies of all kinds. In Mexico, Wisconsin companies will find a receptive market with many potential buyers for their products and services—especially if they offer innovations that solve problems for companies in their respective sectors. By taking part in this virtual trade venture, companies can tap the existing demand for their products to forge new relationships that lead to growing export sales with new customers and sectors.
Particular strengths of Mexico’s diversified economy include high-tech industries, oil production, mineral exploitation, manufacturing and agriculture. Leading export categories from Wisconsin to Mexico include industrial machinery, electrical machinery, vehicles and parts, paper products, plastics, agricultural products, and medical and scientific instruments. With Mexico’s growing middle class, consumer products of all kinds are a major opportunity. U.S. products are already well represented (and thus well-known and trusted) in the market, and are perceived to be of good quality and a good value for the price.
Companies do not need to have prior export experience in order to benefit from this trade venture; however, companies that apply to attend should view exporting as an integral part of their overall growth strategy. Since Mexico is one of the top export markets for U.S. companies across all sectors, Wisconsin companies from a broad range of sectors are encouraged to attend this trade venture. Particular sectors of opportunity include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Water technology
- Financial technology
- Aerospace and aviation
- Appliances and consumer goods