Business in Mexico 101

The Mexican economy has seen a significant upswing over the last few years. Thanks to the emerging nation’s good location, numerous foreign investors are already doing business there. In today’s blog post, we’d like to tell you about the most important fundamentals regarding the Mexican business world.

Mexico currently ranks among the 15 biggest economies in the world, and it’s an influential nation when it comes to oil exports. One important indicator of Mexico’s economic strength is the boom in the automotive industry. German car manufacturers such as VW and Audi have plants there, and other car brands intend to follow suit over the next few years. The location’s advantages include low labor costs and close proximity to the US sales market.

A lot of economic experts see Mexico as a serious future economic power. Yet the country is coping with a few challenges, even today. These include high crime rates and inequality in the distribution of wealth. Around 50 percent of the Mexican population is living in poverty.

Charisma and flexibility needed

To face the challenges associated with international collaboration, it helps to keep Mexico’s cultural background in mind. You should therefore take the following tips into consideration for your business in Mexico:

  • Personal relationships are very important in Mexico and are critical to any Cross-cultural Training, Mexico, Business, Small Talk, Flexibility, Relationshipsuccessful long-term collaboration. The establishment of trust is the key.
  • Mexicans often avoid direct communication, especially when it comes to conflicts. Be mindful of your counterpart’s predisposition to save face and of how you express criticism, as many things are taken personally rather than objectively.
  • When it comes to time, you should be very flexible, as appointments are commonly not considered to be exact. Try not to appear impatient, and try to use the time for other things such as small talk.
  • Mexicans tend to work on several tasks at the same time. So don’t be surprised if people digress from fixed agendas in meetings or switch between individual topics. Associated with this is that long-term planning in Mexico is often met with incomprehension. People from cultures that tend to stick to set plans are often considered inflexible in this regard.
  • Meetings serve not only as an opportunity to exchange information, but also as a time to maintain contact. Pay more attention to your appearance and charisma than to presenting too many facts and figures.
  • Hierarchies play an important role in Mexico, and Mexicans tend to pay a lot of attention to status. Even academic titles are very important in the Mexican business world.
  • Appropriate small-talk topics for business partners include the country’s cultural and touristic diversity and Mexican cuisine. After all, tacos, enchiladas, jalapeños, guacamole and tequila are well known and beloved far beyond the country’s borders.

Of course, this is only basic information on business in Mexico. If you want to be well prepared for your contact with Mexican business partners, customers and colleagues, we recommend Eidam & Partner’s detailed cross-cultural training on Mexico. If you would like further information on our offerings, take a look at our website. There you’ll find a list of our seminar topics for your custom cross-cultural training.


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About Andreas Riedel

I studied tourism management and European studies/cultural studies. In both subjects I took a close look at cross-cultural communication from different angels. I have been working as a key account manager at Eidam & Partner since 2013. We offer worldwide services related to cross-cultural communication, such as cross-cultural training, cross-cultural coaching, eLearning and preparation for international assignments for more than 80 target countries.
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