Which customs should German businesspeople be particularly aware of in Mexico?
Susanna Hess-Kalcher: Courtesy and the will to maintain polite communication are especially appreciated in Mexico. German directness is considered somewhat disrespectful. The greeting ritual – especially among men – is a handshake, followed by a half-embrace and a pat on the back. And a kiss on the right cheek is considered appropriate for men and women by the second meeting at the latest.
What makes Mexico so interesting for German businesses?
Susanna Hess-Kalcher: One stand-out aspect is that Mexico is predestined for multilateralism given its geostrategic situation. Latin America’s second-largest economy after Brazil has eleven free trade agreements with 46 countries, which gives it access to around 1.5bn consumers.
Which business sectors is the Mexican market particularly well suited for?
Susanna Hess-Kalcher: The boom in the auto industry is still happening in 2017. A number of German car manufacturers – BMW, Audi, VW and Daimler – are building their own plants with investments of billions. Suppliers can benefit from this as well. In addition, there is consistently high demand for medical technology, which is forecast to grow by around 6% per year. The government plays a big part in this as the consumer of around 70% to 80% of products. The solar, wind and oil industries have also offered attractive opportunities for investors since the 2013 energy reform.