‘Come, Expand Your Business In Mexico’
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Mexico’s ambassador to India Melba Pria talks to Taniya Tikoo about India’s trade tango with Mexico
The trade relatonship between India and Mexico goes way back; Mexico was one of the first Latin American countries to recognise India as an independent state in 1947. Today, both countries are part of the G20 group.
The trade between the two nations has been steadily increasing; 30 per cent on average every year. In 2014, the two-way trade between the nations amounted to $ 6.3 billion. Mexico’s main exports to India include petroleum,machinery, fertilisers and chemicals, while India mainly exports textiles, gems, jewellery, leather and software to Mexico.
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Mexico’s ambassador to India Melba Pria talks to Taniya Tikoo about India’s trade tango with Mexico.
Last year, we saw a remarkable growth in terms of trade between India and Mexico; Indian exports to Mexico increased by 22 per cent. How do you plan to take the numbers higher?
We are working towards fostering better exchanges between the Mexican and Indian businesses, but the business is thriving on its own as well. We continue our efforts to attract Indian investments to Mexico. Mexico is one of the best places in the world to invest in, and one of the most exciting markets for doing business. India exports more to Mexico ($3.5 billion) than to countries such as Thailand ($3.1 billion), Myanmar ($1.7 billion) or Iran ($2.4 billion). Mexico is one of India’s largest export markets for automobiles. India’s car exports to Mexico are expected to increase by 50 per cent annually. Apart from cars, Mexico also imports significant quantities of aluminium and organic chemicals from India. In the past, Mexico has enjoyed a trade deficit with India, however, with falling crude oil prices in the international market, India bridged the gap in FY16 and Indian exports have increased.
Is Mexico’s engagement with the Indian IT industry motivated by the geopolitical shifts, more specifically the inward-looking foreign policy of the US that has dampened India’s IT prospects in North America?
It is not a geopolitical issue. Mexico is becoming a hub with government subsidies and affordable talent, attracting foreign tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Oracle, Intel, HP, Dell and Gameloft. The IT engagement between Mexico and India is already strong, with at least 10 registered Indian IT companies in Mexico.
Mexico is a great option for Indian IT companies also due to the presence of qualified engineers, shared time zones with clients in the US, and much lower costs. All the big IT companies that are in the Silicon Valley, are also in Mexico. We are welcoming companies to Mexico as we don’t have the problems of working visas. So come and enlarge your business in Mexico.
India is now in the top 100 countries on ‘ease of doing business’. How does that change Mexico’s view about India?
We have close to $1 billion in investments in India. Mexican investment in India is growing more rapidly. But what we want to see more is trade, not just investment.
The biggest IT presence outside India is in Mexico. The business has found ways to flourish between the two nations.
How do you think Mexico can contribute to improving the Indo-Mexican relationship?
We have to make India more visible to Mexican traders. The idea that the two countries are geographically far apart has to go away. Mexico has more than 40 FTAs (free trade agreements) in the world. We believe our economy is enhanced with FTA. In the case of India, it will come around slowly. We are working to make it more popular with our traders.