Interested in Mexico, but have you actually been there?

After being neglected for reasons difficult to understand and therefore explain, Mexico seems to be back and features as one of the top priorities and preferred destinations for the UK Government, Law Firms and service providers.  There is expectation that with the structural reforms that have been passed through Congress and enacted, such as Employment, Education, Telecom, Financial Sector and Amparo, and those in the pipeline including the Tax and Energy reforms, high growth sectors such as infrastructure and energy will take-off, and with all of these, employment, consumption, and the growth required in the economy to close the gaps in Mexican society will be necessary.  All of these will require financing and will create conflicts. They will give way to mergers and acquisitions, and the virtuous circle that all we corporate finance lawyers love.

By now, it seems that most of those that have done something in Latin America have some idea on why they should be thinking in Mexico, and have become somehow involved in what is happening. They read more and learn more about what is actually happening and how the may make the most out of the opportunities. However, have they actually been there?  Do they understand the culture? Do they understand the legal system? The manner in which business is done? Do they know who their correspondents are or may be in Mexico? To make it simple, and this may answer most of the questions, do they speak the language?

With the manner in which today we may travel and communicate, it may seem easy and some may have a simplistic and pragmatic approach on the manner in which they may approach this new market. However, those who are serious about and have been successful know that it will not be easy and it will take time, and let me tell you, that most of those are already in Mexico.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but it is also true that the second best time is today.  With that in mind, it would be interesting to see whether those interested in taking advantage of the opportunities in such an exciting and promising market as Mexico are serious and committed enough to start today what they have not done in the last 20 years and approach the market; get to feel it, know it, understand it, and then, develop a strategy based on actual factual and emotional knowledge of what is and what is not.  I am certain that those who do will be able to walk and those who do not will continue talking.

Today is your best second time to do all this, and lucky you, it happens that nowadays the bilateral interest to grow trade and investment is at its peak for the last quarter of century.  If you are serious about this, there are plenty of opportunities to go and see it for yourself, and if you are committed and serious enough, I am certain that in 20 years you will not regret what you started today.

A copy of our White Paper UK Legal Services and Latin America is available from Jamael Kudratt.

This is the first in a series of guest blogs on Latin America. If you would like to be part of the discussion group on increasing trade between UK and Latin America law firms, please contact Melissa Davis.

Blog by Yves Hayaux du Tilly, Partner of the Mexican law firm Nader, Hayaux & Goebel and Chairman of the UK-Mexican Chamber of  Commerce.

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