By Claire West

Companies looking to build their business in faster-growing economies beyond the traditional UK export markets will want to attend the “Developing Your Business in Mexico” conference on 7 October.

Organised by UK Trade & Investment’s International Trade Teams in London and the South East, and sponsored by Santander, the event will provide insight and practical tips on taking advantage of the opportunities in Mexico and meeting the business and cultural challenges of trading there.

Mexico is the largest trading nation in Latin America and one of 17 “high-growth markets” identified by UKTI. It regularly ranks among the top three emerging markets, has free-trade agreements with over 40 countries, and is in the middle of a five-year National Infrastructure Programme (2007-12) worth US$250 billion.

As the UK's second largest export market in the region after Brazil, demand for our goods and services extends across the economy, from infrastructure to education to food and drink. With its strategic location, Mexico can also act as a springboard into both the USA and Latin America.

David Hallam, an International Trade Adviser with UKTI London, said: “Mexico presents major opportunities for UK companies. Although there is a perception that it is a bureaucratic and complicated place to do business, the fact is it is no more difficult — and in many ways easier — to trade with than other emerging markets. There are differences to contend with but, as with all export markets, many potential pitfalls can be avoided through careful preparation, which UKTI can support.”

Alexandra Haas, Director in the UK of ProMéxico, the country’s international trade and investment body, added: "Mexico has many advantages: its location, internal market, low operation costs and sectoral diversity. It also faces certain challenges, which are being addressed with courage and integrity. We are reviewing the rules of the game to create better business opportunities, simplify procedures and ensure sustainable development in the long term."