Oil and gas prospects are obviously at the front of Mexico’s investment prospects – the country’s energy reform is expected to attract as much as $50bn in foreign investment in 2020.
But there’s more, the government says. And not just in the increasingly high-tech manufacturing industry that Mexico has embraced – it is the world’s fourth exporter of cars and first of flat-screen TVs, and its aerospace industry has rocketed.
No, Mexico is targeting a range of other areas that are either untapped or could be developed further: think organic agriculture, halal products to serve the world’s 1.2bn strong Muslim market; the development of smart cities; shipbuilding; videogames; and medical tourism.
Here is the to-develop list from ProMexico, the country’s trade promotion agency:
Francisco González, ProMexcio’s chief, told reporters Mexico would next year host a Latin America-China trade fair aimed at mid-sized companies, and was hoping to open prospects in China (where Mexico does not have a free-trade agreement) for avocados, citrus fruit and creative industries, alongside manufacturing. Mexico has already started exporting pork and tequila to China.
ProMexico is also taking a delegation of 105 companies to Mipcom, the premier creative industries fair in Cannes next month, to promote things like Mexican videogames and soap operas, or telenovelas – and will be hosting its own Mipcom Cancún in December in the Caribbean resort.
What does all that mean for investment? More of it, ProMexico hopes.
González sees foreign direct investment hitting more than $40bn in 2017, up from a historic high of $38bn in 2013.
And more Mexican investment abroad too:
But in Mexico’s drive to expand its investment prospects, it may be worth taking to heart advice from the World Economic Forum in its annual report on competitiveness, which ranked Mexico 55th worldwide:
In addition, the competitiveness agenda for Mexico must include actions oriented toward strengthening the functioning of its institutions, notably in the fight against corruption (99th), and increasing the level of security (135th). To support its transition toward higher-value-added economic activities, it will be critical to foster the use of ICTs ] [information and communication technologies] (83rd) and boost its innovation capacity (75th), which remain low.
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