December 21, 2012, by Matt
A day in the life of a Geographer … John Pearson
All I Know About Mexico…
I am still a relatively new blogger on this site. My first entry, a few months ago, was written while I was working at the British High Commission in Singapore, dealing with climate change and low carbon technologies in South East Asia. Since then I have experienced one of the challenges (pleasures?) of working as a diplomat, and moved to our Embassy in Mexico City. My new job is Head of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) team in the Embassy – helping British companies export to Mexico, and encouraging Mexican investment in the UK.
Our team includes 30 specialist officers covering a wide variety of business sectors: including financial services, advanced engineering, automotive, energy and environment, fashion, food & drink, education, healthcare and tourism. Due to the breadth of Mexico’s business opportunities, we have a main office in Mexico City and teams in three other locations: Monterrey, Guadalajara and Tijuana.
Now is a good time for Mexico. It may not have been named as one of the BRICs in 2001, but according to the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings it’s far easier to do business here than in any of those nations. It has 110 million people, in an area the size of Western Europe. And it trades more than the rest of Latin America combined.
Our main goal is to double bilateral trade to US$6.7 billion (£4.2bn) by 2015. And analysis shows that we are currently on track to do that.
Views of Mexico are changing. It used to be seen as a risky place with security problems, and admittedly that is still an issue in some parts of the country. But the Government is taking action to tackle this, and a lot of British companies are doing well here. Among those on the ground already are British Petroleum, HSBC, Astra Zeneca, Unilever, Baker Tilly, Accesorize, GKN, and Diageo. Only this year we have helped various British companies to establish themselves in the market,
such as Ben Sherman, Weetabix, Lee Cooper, Wedgwood, and Little Bridge, among others.
We have also received high level attention from the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron was here in June (see picture on home page), along with Lord Green (Minister for Overseas Trade) and a high-level business delegation. And with a new Mexican government that took power earlier this month, expectations are high, especially because they intend to open up the labour market and follow through on energy reforms.
As I said, Mexico is the largest trading nation in Latin America – but at the moment, the UK only represents about 1% of Mexico’s imports! There are still challenges to overcome, but the economy is growing steadily, inflation and unemployment are low and its banks are well capitalised. So I should have an interesting time here…
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