Yucatan businesses look for new opportunities beyond the state’s borders

Photo: Puerto de Progreso A container ship loading at the Port of Progreso.

Yucatan businesses and entrepreneurs are looking beyond the state´s borders for opportunities to expand markets, secure new investment and form strategic alliances.

A group of local entrepreneurs will be heading to Mexico City Oct. 5 to participate in National Entrepreneur Week, where they will contact investment funds and participate in business roundtables on international links and other topics. So far, 17 businesses have committed to send representatives, with places still open to participate in the conference that runs through Oct. 10.

Meanwhile,  about 70 Yucatan business people participated in a forum in Merida Sept. 17 aimed at boosting commerce between Texas and the peninsula. The president and vice president of Houston´s Latino Chamber of Commerce, Adriana Gonzalez and Oswaldo Villanueva, were featured guests at the trade conference, which sought to build on historic trade ties between Yucatan and Texas.

This the first time that Yucatan has had representation at the National Entrepreneurship Week in Mexico City. Besides the entrepreneurs, representatives of the Anahuac Mayab University and the Metropolitan Technological University will participate. The list of attendees can be expanded in the coming days, according to Aaron Rosado Castillo, head of strategic planning projects of Yucatan´s Ministry of Economic Development.

To encourage the participation of students and young entrepreneurs, the National Institute of Entrepreneurship offers a number of packages with special prices on accommodation, transportation and food. Likewise they will have shuttle service from the hotels to the headquarters of the National Entrepreneur Week.

Photo: Puerto de Progreso A container ship loading at the Port of Progreso.
Photo: Puerto de Progreso
A container ship loading at the Port of Progreso.

Meanwhile, at the Texas-Yucatan forum, the head of Yucatan´s Ministry of Economic Development (Sefoe), David Alpizar Carrillo, noted that Yucatecan entrepreneurs are dynamic and their products are distinguished by a competitive manufacturing that not only complies with the standards and requirements of local environments, but also national and international, so the chances are high for concrete alliances that strengthen the economy in both regions.

Between Yucatan and Texas, he said, there is a historic trade relationship that has endured over many years and has been favored especially by fellow Latinos, who have a very important role in Texas, by the prevailing significant ties starting from their language and idiosyncrasies.

“There are great opportunities to forge long-term relationships between Yucatan and Texas, and between Merida and Houston. At the end of the day, both sides of the border share the desire to open up opportunities and do business,” he said at the Merida forum held at the Hall of Chichen Itza at the Yucatan Institute for Entrepreneurship (IYEM).

For his part, Houston Latino Chamber Vice President Oswaldo Villanueva said that Texas is a growing economy with great advantages due to an energy boom that continues to this day, to the migration of technology companies from California and growth of the Hispanic business community.

It also has a young and Hispanic workforce, a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) higher than the national average, leadership in job creation at the national level, as well as less red tape.

“Mexico is the second largest supplier of processed foods to the United States and major markets to sell products are Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio,” he said.

Mexican exports sought in Texas are soft drinks, concentrated syrups, bread, tortillas, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confectionery, canned foods, frozen tamales, salsas, jams, tequila, chili powder, edible oils, canned beans, dried fruits, wines, gourmet and typical decoration products, he said.

Villanueva said the United States, especially in regions with large presence of people of Hispanic origin and ancestry, represents a great potential in the niche of “nostalgia”, even more so if one takes into account the existence of more than 13 million Mexicans and more than 50 million Hispanics in the neighboring country.

Moreover, Mexico imports raw materials and apparatus from the United States and Texas, such as petroleum products (oils, plastics and polymers), fuels (gasoline and diesel), natural gas, propane and butane gas; electronics, computers, technology, and transportation and industrial machinery and construction.

He noted that Texas supports more than one third of the total trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

The value of Texas exports to Mexico is greater than the value of what every other American state exported to the world, except for California and New York.

Among the recommendations Villanueva gave entrepreneurs interested in doing business, is the importance of knowing the potential of your brand or product in the markets where it is intended to penetrate well, preferably by making a study before any internationalization process.

“In dealing with American businessmen, orders, requests and communications should be brief, concise and timely,” he said.

For her part, the president of the Latino Business Chamber of Houston, Adriana Gonzalez, invited the audience to ally with the organization founded in 1994, whose membership is composed mostly of people of Latin American origin.

TYT Newsroom