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Is Mexico the right market for my business?

Mexico is the 11th largest economy in the world and it offers a wide range of opportunities for U.S. businesses. Nearly 50,000 American small and medium-sized companies already export to Mexico, and it is the second leading export market for U.S. companies, after Canada.  Besides its geographic advantages, Mexico is an attractive market because of strong legal protections, macroeconomic and political stability, and due to benefits from the North American Free Trade agreement.

Is Mexican business culture different?

There are some differences between American and Mexican business cultures. For example in Mexico there is a culture of indirectness, especially in regards to saying “no”. Work relationships may be more rigid and dress more formal. Also, not meeting business deadlines may not necessarily mean “not interested”.  And businessmen in Mexico like to spend some time getting to know you before talking business.  It is very important to have face-to-face meetings early in your dealings with potential partners.

What Mexican sectors are export ready?

The short answer is most of them. For example Mexico is the 5th largest exporter of vehicles in the world, the 8th largest aerospace supplier to the U.S., and the 12th largest plastics producer in the world.  Please review Chapter 4 of the Country Commercial Guide for more best prospects:

What is the financing situation like?

Typically, Mexican importers expect to receive some sort of payment terms when purchasing from U.S. exporters.  As interest rates are much higher in Mexico than in the U.S. a good strategy is to get to know the services the U.S. Export-Import Bank has to offer, such as various term loans and export credit insurance programs.

How can I protect my intellectual property in Mexico?

Pirated products in Mexico are perceived as an affordable way to have access to similar quality products. To protect your intellectual property work with an IPR lawyer to obtain a trademark/patent locally, as having a U.S. patent will not be sufficient.

What should I consider in terms of logistics in Mexico?

There are many ways to get your products to Mexico, whether by truck, rail, port or air cargo, with about 80 percent of merchandise entering via truck.  Remember that third party logistics can greatly simplify your cross border shipping process.

How should I distribute my products in Mexico?

Due to Mexico’s regional concentration, local representation will yield better results than a single, nation-wide distributor.  Also, you may consider partnering with a Mexican entity as this has certain benefits like permission to participate in federal procurement tenders and to sell to the Mexican military, defense units or police.

What problems could I face with Mexican Customs?

Mexican customs are strict about importation.  Be sure to have all proper documentation included with the shipment.   If your product qualifies for NAFTA status and you are completing a NAFTA certificate of origin, some frequent mistakes made by U.S. exporters include incomplete importer/exporter information and lack of detailed descriptions of the shipment. These can slow down your shipment.  For specific questions about documentation requirements for your product you may want to contact the Trade Information Center at 800-USA-TRADE or the Mexico BIC at .

 Is it safe to do business in Mexico?

Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business.  However violence among transnational criminal organizations has created insecurity in some parts of Mexico. Prior to traveling to Mexico it is recommended to review the Department of State’s travel guidance related to Mexico:,