Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Mexico amounted to USD28.38 billion in 2015; this represented an increase of 26 per cent from 2014. According to UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2015, Mexico is the world's tenth largest FDI recipient.
Mexico ranked 38th in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings, up four places from 42nd in the year prior. The rankings acknowledged a number of reforms that Mexico enacted over the past year to make doing business easier. This includes improved access to credit by implementing a decree allowing a general description of assets granted as collateral. Mexico also made paying taxes easier by abolishing the business flat tax. However, it also made paying taxes more costly by allowing only a portion of salaries to be deductible.
Key facts about starting a business in Mexico:
Mexico's attractiveness as an investment location can be attributed to a number of factors, including openness to foreign investment and abundant natural resources. Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision, it is critical to understand the nuances of any local regime. The manner in which people conduct business in Mexico may differ from the home countries of investors. Furthermore, variations on these distinctions may exist depending on the region and industry in which a company operates.
Mexico's official language is Spanish, although a number of Native American languages are still spoken in the country. Mexican society is highly stratified and this is reflected in business; hierarchy is important. Business attire is conservative.
Punctuality is expected when doing business in Mexico. A handshake is the typical business greeting. Business cards will usually be exchanged at the first meeting.
Those looking to establish a business in Mexico may look across South America for alternative options. However, Mexico can be differentiated on the following factors:
While Mexico offers significant investment opportunities, there are still a number of challenges for foreign businesses. Mexico ranks low on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (95th). Bribery is widespread in the country's judicial and state bodies; further information on judicial topics can be found in the Legal chapter. Furthermore, organised crime continues to be an issue for the country. Foreign investors should also remain aware that restrictions to foreign ownership are in place across a number of sectors.
This guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of Mexico, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in Mexico. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.
Please note that the Country Guides may only be available in English.
|1||The National Business Information Registry|
|2||Mexican Tax Administration Service|
|4||National Institute of Migration|
|5||Mexican Institute of Industrial Property|
|6||National Institute for Transparency, Information Access and Personal Data Protection held by Individuals|
|7||Pro Mexico – Trade and Investment|
|2||UNCTAD World Investment Report|
|3||Doing Business Rankings|
|4||Temporary Residence Card - Used PracticalLaw which is a legal service Grant Thornton subscribes to|
|6||Free Trade Agreements|
|7||Working Age Population|
|8||National Infrastructure Programme Investment|
|9||Corruption Perceptions Index|
Download Country Guide - Mexico (1.1MB, PDF)
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