Once again this year, the U.S. Commercial Service will have a presence here with approximately 16 foreign delegations attending that have been recruited through U.S. embassies abroad by the Commercial Service. One of these foreign delegations is from Mexico, and we sat down with Martha Sanchez, Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to discuss opportunities for U.S. businesses in the Mexican market.
Q: Why should U.S.
Martha Sanchez firms look at selling to Mexico—what makes the country a good market for U.S. companies looking to do business?
The Mexican market for audiovisual (AV) products and services is in a strong growth phase. The convergence of ICT and AV technologies is stimulating the demand in the Mexican market for the latest innovations in the consumer and professional end-user segments. U.S. companies in the AV industry have a good market presence and opportunities exist for companies with quality innovative products.
Q: Do U.S. information technologies have any type of competitive edge over products from other countries?
One of the advantages is the geographic proximity to the U.S., which helps in the business relationships, also the quality of the products, access to financial opportunities to import U.S. products (Ex-Im Bank, SBA, OPIC). There are no barriers for U.S. technology to enter the Mexican market, as Mexico and the U.S. are business partners (NAFTA).
Q: What are some challenges associated with selling to this market?
The main challenges for U.S. exporters are to offer competitive prices. The global economic downturn has resulted in a weaker peso vis-à-vis the dollar, a tighter credit market, lower consumer demand and decreased private investment. These factors in turn have caused an increase in the landed cost of U.S. products, a tightening of available credit to SME’s, and lower consumption in the Mexican market. U.S. exporters must consider how best to approach the market given these new considerations. The main competitors for U.S. companies in the AV industry in Mexico are China, Japan, UK and Germany.
Q: What are some tips for U.S. businesses looking to do business in Mexico?
In Mexico, business is done on the basis of relationships. U.S. exporters will need to travel to Mexico frequently to develop and maintain relationships in order to successfully conduct business in Mexico. It is highly recommended to pursue distribution agreements with Mexican dealers of AV equipment. End users prefer to acquire AV products from a distributor established in Mexico as they can provide local technical support.