“Once shuttered off by tariffs and trade controls, Mexico has opened up to become a place where the world does business” as the Economist reported recently. “The North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which in 1994 eliminated most tariffs between Mexico, the United States and Canada, was only the beginning: Mexico now boasts free-trade deals with 44 countries, more than any other nation. Indeed, “trade makes up a bigger chunk of its GDP than of any other large country’s.”
Mexico “grew faster than Brazil last year and will repeat the trick this year, with a rate of about 4% against less than 2% in Brazil. [The country’s new President, Enrique Peña Nieto] is aiming to get annual growth up to 6% before his six-year presidency is over”, the Economist reports – while also “curtailing the rampant drug-related violence that has left 65 ,000 dead in the last six years…while increasing ties with the United States”, as the Motley Fool reported recently, as cited by The Council for North American Policy.
The Economist predicts that “by the end of this decade Mexico will probably be among the world’s ten biggest economies; a few bullish forecasters think[ing] it might even become the largest in Latin America.”
“The joint effect of pay, logistics and currency fluctuations has made Mexico the world’s cheapest place to manufacture goods destined for the United States, undercutting China as well as countries such as India and Vietnam.” as the Economist report outlined.
As the Economist outlined: “since the 1970s, Mexico has been one of the world’s ten biggest oil producers” – which bodes well for attracting booming energy focused foreign direct investment from Japan and China. Indeed, “state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said it found reserves of up to 500 million barrels of crude in southern Mexico, a discovery that then President Felipe Calderon hailed as the “biggest find” of petroleum on land in the past decade” as the Council for North American Policy recently outlined, citing a Fox News Latino report.
What can Mexico’s lawyers do to secure new foreign business?
Mexico’s lawyers should now be putting in place robust legal business development initiatives focused on foreign manufacturers as well as energy sector companies and investors, including:
- Focus on bringing commercially-based opportunities to the commercial staff of new prospective clients and investors – which is by far the most effective way to generate new business for a broad range of legal practices.
- Put in place a robust social media plan aimed at a global audience, the centerpiece of which would be a blog about opportunities in Mexico of attraction to your ideal potential client base.
- Develop efficient and effective international referral relationships with other professional services providers around the world.
- Consider an overseas representative office in places like Hong Kong and Tokyo, the epicenters of Asia’s enormous outbound energy focused foreign direct investment.
Mexico’s economic future is bright and getting brighter every day. Despite tragic drug related violence and domestic regulatory hurdles, the country is growing more quickly than Brazil, and promises to become an increasingly more vital exporter to the United States as well as a source of energy to Asia and other regions. Mexico’s lawyers should seize the opportunity now to be an even more integral part of the country’s present and future prosperity.