What makes Mexico a good market for Singapore companies to venture into?

CNA
Making Business Sense
Why Mexico?
OPEN ECONOMY
Mexico has long welcomed foreign investment as a way of expanding and diversifying its economy. As one of the world’s most-open economies,
  • The country has signed 13 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 50 countries, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which it was the first signatory to ratify the agreement.
  • Mexico’s network of FTAs accounts for more than 90% of its total trade with the world.

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BOLD REFORMS
Mexico’s government has reformed its legislation in the education, energy, financial, fiscal and telecommunications sectors, among others, with the long-term aim of improving economic competitiveness and achieving growth for the Mexican economy.

ECONOMIC POTENTIAL
Mexico is an attractive market due to its macroeconomic stability, low inflation, size and strength of its domestic market, economic growth and proximity to key global markets.
  • Mexico is the 15th largest market by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, just ahead of Indonesia.
  • Mexico’s GDP was valued at US$1.15 trillion in 2017.
  • Mexico has a middle-class population of approximately 50 million and growing.
  • Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America after Brazil, and has a free market economy with an increasingly competitive private sector.


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  • Open economy
  • Supply chain integration with North America
  • Qualified labour force in the manufacturing sector
  • Strong base in energy production
  • Robust private sector of homegrown companies, which are becoming increasingly global
12
%
largest global producer of oil in 2018
Investment Opportunities
Top Industries to Consider
OIL AND GAS

Energy reforms in 2014 ended state monopolies in electricity generation, as well as oil and gas sectors. This allows greater private investment and foreign participation in exploration, production and transportation activities.

Various onshore and offshore blocks have been assigned to a wide range of Mexican and international companies. Among them is Mexico’s national oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Pemex has announced plans to move into deepwater oil exploration and production (E&P). Singapore’s upstream E&P equipment companies can seize opportunities to supply rigs, vessels and equipment, as well as technology and engineering solutions. There are also opportunities in Pemex’s plans to build new oil refineries and upgrade existing ones.

Singapore companies with established presence in this sector include Ezra Holdings Ltd, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, Pacific Radiance Ltd, Vallianz Offshore Marine Ltd , NauticAWT Ltd, and Sembcorp Marine Ltd.

RETAIL, E-COMMERCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The Mexican economy is rapidly digitalising. Industries across the board, including financial services, healthcare, retail, trade and transport, have been seeking technological solutions to:

  • Improve operations
  • Increase cost efficiency
  • Expand services

In the retail sector, the country’s growing consumer base has led to near-double-digit growth, and large retailers have begun investing heavily in e-commerce. This has created opportunities for tech companies supplying secure electronic payments solutions for remittances and mobile payments.

Mexico’s 2018 fintech law, which promotes secure payments and banking processes also offers opportunities for Singaporean tech companies specialising in security, mobile and financial services.

AGRI-FOOD AND LOGISTICS

As the 10th largest food producer in the world, Mexico’s agri-food industry is its most dynamic export sector and the third largest, behind manufacturing and automotive.

With its globalisation efforts, Mexico is growing its consumer base for perishable goods from Asia. The establishment of air routes with China and South Korea has also allowed Mexico to export more fruits and meat to China and East Asia.

Singapore logistics companies can take advantage of these trends and transform Singapore into a distribution hub for the flow of products from Mexico into Southeast, East and North Asia. There are also opportunities for sea and air transportation companies to enhance cold chain services and develop new trade routes to support Mexico’s exports in the region.

SMART CITIES AND ECONOMIC ZONE PLANNING
There are opportunities to upgrade Mexico’s infrastructure in areas such as roads, ports, airports and urban transport.
  • Improving port infrastructure was a major focus of Mexico’s 2014-2018 National Investment Program. There will be continued demand for companies that can help improve port facilities to support increased trade and industrial activities.
  • In 2018, Mexico implemented public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects in the transportation and energy sectors (worth over US$400 billion). One such project was awarded to Surbana Jurong in April 2019 for the development of a strategic plan for the Salinas Cruz–Coatzacoalcos Interoceanic Corridor. The project will lead to downstream opportunities for further infrastructure projects, including the development of industrial clusters along the corridor.
  • There are plans to develop intelligent urban transportation systems. Singapore companies can secure urban transportation projects through early and comprehensive engagement of authorities and operators.
The development of four Special Economic Zones in the south of Mexico is expected to spur massive economic activity. Singapore companies with the following expertise can benefit from these plans:
  • INDUSTRIALISATION
  • MASTER-PLANNING
  • MANAGEMENT OF PORTS AND AIRPORTS
  • PROVISION OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
  • MANAGEMENT OF WATER
  • WASTE TREATMENT PLANTS
  • E-GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS
  • HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
MANUFACTURING FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE, AEROSPACE AND MEDTECH SECTORS

Over the past decade, Mexico has become an attractive manufacturing location. An increasing number of companies have leveraged the country’s infrastructure and logistics support to manufacture for the US market.

This can be attributed to:

  • Nearshoring of US companies back to North America.
  • Rising consumption as a result of the US’ economic recovery.
  • Skilled and affordable Mexican workforce
  • Closer proximity to key clients in the US, which translates to reduced logistics costs and easier tracking of developments in clients’ supply chains.

The greater demand in Mexico for suppliers provides opportunities for:

  • Singapore companies, especially those in the aerospace, automotive and medical technology sectors to consider Mexico as a manufacturing base.
  • Singapore component manufacturers with tooling, stamping and machining capabilities to support and complement the domestic Mexican manufacturing industry.
Support for Businesses
Opening Doors for Singapore Companies
  • Enterprise Singapore actively promotes Mexico through its office in Mexico City. It provides assistance to Singapore companies that are considering business opportunities in Mexico by:
    1. Sharing market knowledge and expertise.
    2. Providing access to networks and contacts.
    3. Providing suport through initiatives and programmes to facilitate their entry into overseas markets.
  • Enterprise Singapore works closely with Singapore companies on their entry into Mexico by facilitating business activities (e.g. business missions, business matching, etc.) that support their business interests or development plans in the market. Enterprise Singapore has supported the business activities of Singapore companies in Mexico, across different industries such as trade and connectivity, infrastructure, oil and gas, and technology.
  • Existing bilateral agreements between Singapore and Mexico, including a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Bilateral Investment Treaty, Air Services Agreement, and the multi-party CPTPP agreement, are important in reducing trade and investment barriers between both countries.
  • Singapore is also discussing a free trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance, which is a trade bloc comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The FTA will provide Singapore an additional platform to engage the PA countries, and strengthen trade and investment links among each other.
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