The Latin American nation is one of the largest new markets to which access is being better enabled by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The agreement, amongst other things, will remove tariffs on most New Zealand exports into Mexico (with the exception of some dairy products where duty-free access will still be achieved under quotas).
A thriving and expanding middle-class population within Mexico is creating more opportunities; these more sophisticated consumers together and local manufacturing capabilities are fuelling greater credibility and desire for ‘Made in Mexico’.
New Zealand Story, in conjunction with the Latin America Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence (Latin America CAPE), has been working hard to better understand the trade opportunities being increasingly offered to New Zealand, including how Mexican consumers and businesses perceive our country and what are the critical factors for business engagement and sector-specific considerations for trade.
There are many similarities between our two nations. However, there are many misperceptions that could create restrictions for New Zealand exporters looking to enter the market: We’re seen as a ‘young, remote, rural’ nation – from this should we read ‘backward’? Perhaps, but they did say we’re open, welcoming, relaxed, and trustworthy, so they at least got that right. And we do have youth on our side, of course, which means a younger mindset and a more contemporary approach to how we do business.
Future focus for kiwi exporters needs to be on playing a long game; making sure Mexico can see what’s in it for them and take the time and necessary effort to build lasting relationships. We have a lot to offer, it’s about ensuring that the integrity we’re known for is delivered; that we understand when “yes” actually is “yes”; and that our flexibility and willingness for collaboration can yield mutually beneficial outcomes.