Mexico: The Emerging Hub for Global Business in Latin America

Sue Durio, Worldwide ERC® - Aug 28 2018
Published in: Mobility

“Mexico’s strong economic performance, particularly in the manufacturing and energy sectors, is generating increasing global assignment volume into the country. New technology and change are coming fast. The development of Mexico’s economy is by far the best in Latin America. As one of the more important emerging markets in the world, Mexico is expected to be a main recipient of foreign investment in the next two to three years.” Dwellworks’ VP, Latin America, Jack Fraind, shared these insights in a Mexico Destination Profile in Mobility magazine in 2016.

Today, there’s plenty of evidence to support those expectations, in spite of some of the unanticipated geopolitical and global economic events that have unfolded since. Thanks to government investment in infrastructure and continued efforts to bolster competition in the telecommunications, energy and transportation industries, Mexico is currently ranked as the 15th  largest world economy in GDP, and 11th in terms of its purchasing power.

It’s capital, Mexico City, offers an easy-going, family-friendly culture that has helped it become one of the top-ranked hubs for start-up businesses and global enterprises seeking a Latin America presence. With 22 million residents in Mexico City and its surrounding metropolitan area and its own bustling economy that rivals the world’s largest business epicenters, the region is ripe for continued global business expansion.  

But it’s not without some challenges for mobility professionals placing talent there. Mexico’s recent elections and U.S. leaders’ bold immigration initiatives are changing the immigration reality between the two countries. A lack of understanding of these complex and evolving immigration policies can mean the potential for costly compliance blunders for mobility teams and their companies.

On the issue of trade, Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, and also comes in third as a source of U.S. imports, after China and Canada. The U.S. is currently Mexico’s largest trading partner, and its biggest source of foreign direct investment. The future state of trade and investment remains uncertain, however, as negotiations are currently underway on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in which Mexico is a participant, is forging ahead without the U.S. signing on. As negotiations on immigration and trade continue, and a new political party gears up to assume office later this year, the global talent mobility and broader labor relations landscapes will continue to be further defined.