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flag Mexico Mexico: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Mexico | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

Mexico is one of the emerging countries most open to foreign direct investment. According to the 2013 World Investment Report published by UNCTAD, Mexico is the third largest FDI recipient in Latin-America and the Caribbean, after Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Chile and Colombia. In 2013, FDI flux into the country reached their record level of 35.2b USD, which equals almost the double of their levels in 2012. This is mainly due to the aquisition by a Belgian brewery Anheuser-Busch inBev of the Mexican bear giant Grupo Modelo for the sum of 13 billion USD.

However, in recent years, Mexico's competitiveness has been hampered by the growth of organized crime and the lack of reforms in the energy sector, professional services and taxation. Corruption and administrative inefficiency are also major problems.

The areas where foreign investments are concentrated the most are the border towns with the United States (where assembly factories are located), as well as the capital. The Yucatan peninsula continues to receive foreign investments thanks to its tourism appeal. These investments come especially from the United States and Spain (mainly from the banking sector). The sectors receiving significant foreign investments are finance, automobile industry and electronics and energy sectors. The U.S. and Japan are the two largest investors.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Mexico Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 4.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 5.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 6.0 5.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 23,35417,62838,286
FDI Stock (million USD) 284,611361,234389,083
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 61--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 13--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 295294447
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 9.26.613.5
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 24.330.530.9

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Mexico

Strong Points
- Mexico forms a bridge between North America and Latin America due to its geographical location;
- Mexico has an extensive variety of natural resources allowing for the development of all types of industries at competitive prices;
- Mexico is very open to direct foreign investments;
- Labor costs are not high and in general, there is a skilled labor force;
- Positive structural reforms have been made during the current presidential term;
- Mexico is the world's 8th tourist destination.
Weak Points
- The country depends excessively on its partnership with the United States;
- There is a high level of corruption;
- During the last past years, violence has greatly increased especially the drug cartels;
- The country is encountering significant structural problems (economic and social);
- Some sectors are reserved (for Mexican State or Mexicans nationals);
- High degree of market concentration in some sectors.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Mexican Government has created an open and safe environment for foreign investors. The recently undertaken economic policies should allow investors to manage the safety of their operations despite the unfavorable global external environment. In 2007, ProMexico (en anglais) was created, a federal entity charged with attracting foreign direct investment to Mexico.

Public treasury funds have been made available to private companies that have been heavily affected by the crisis. Thus in November 2008, the Mexican government saved the Vitro company, one of the world's biggest glass producers, which was having liquidity problems because of its debts. The amount disbursed to save it was evaluated at 100 billion USD. The cement corporation, Cemex, in turn registered a 15 billion dollar debt, a debt which is higher than the value of the company, due to the collapse of the world construction sector.

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Mexico
Mexico counts with 25 Promotional and Reciprocal Protection Agreements for the Investments with Different States

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
Having a majority of capital holdings in a Mexican corporation is legal, except in certain sectors.
Obligation to Declare
To find out the total to be declared consult General Direction of Foreign Investments
Competent Organization For the Declaration
General Direction of Foreign Investment

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Mexico on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Mexicali Industrial
National Bank of Foreign Trade
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Compranet, Public Procurements
Tenders Info, Tenders in Mexico
Compranet, Tenders
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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Learn more about Investing in Mexico on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014