Business & Industry

Dec 31, 2015

Partners for Mexico

Founded in 2004, the Portuguese-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILM) is a non profit enterprise association. Its main objective is to enhance and stranghten bilateralsocial-economic relationships between Portugal and Mexico. Some of CCILM's mission principal points are the identification of investment partners and markets, mediation of contacts between economical agents, support for cooperation ideas and projects which are mutually reciprocal, and the preparation of market studies.

Until 2010 the Portuguese-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry has centred its activities in the under-performing market of infrastructures, presenting portuguese companies with the National Infrastructures Plan devised by President Filipe Calderón.

The Chamber's 2010/2013 cycle promoted the environment and energy sectors, featuring portuguese entrepreneurial missions to Mexico, with highlights for the presence in the Green Solutions events in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 the missions took the opposuite direction, with Portugal hosting mexican entrepreneurs, with presence in the Aqualive/EnergyLive event in Lisbon. In the present 2014/2017 cycle, the Chamber of Commerce has reoriented its aproach to the mexican market, now targeting the Information Technologies sector. From 2016 onwards the missions and presences in business fairs, cofinanced by the Portugal 2020 program, will also be tech based, though more omnibus, thus including the pharmaceutical, health, telecommunications, energy/environment, automotive/aerospace and infrastructures and industry sectors.

As a complement to the entrepreneurial missions already performed, the Portuguese-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry divulges bilateral opportunities through sectorial or general activities (seminars, conferences, roadshow), as well as business lunches, among others.

Sice 2014, CCILM has its own delegation in Mexico City, crunch factor for the Chamber's mission.
Portugal Connect is a internationalization project promoted by CCILM, directed at portuguese tech companies interested in entering or reinforcing its presence in the mexican market. As part of this program – which intends to be representative of a innovative and technologucal portugal -, we can find a group of companies of renowned technical know-how contributing to the growing status of the country as a worldwide technology reference.

This project started in June 2014 and was financed by a previous European Union program with a 400 thousand Euros budget, saw the adherence of 11 portuguese IT companies.

The promotional program of the mexican market included five business trips to Mexico. For its importance and dimension we highlight the participation at "World Congress on IT 2014" and "Virtual Educa 2015". The companies that joined the program are already developing their first businesses and acquiring autonomy in the local market, always with the support of CCILM's structure in Mexico.

iv) scheduling meetings and monitoring of local business processes;

At the moment a new phase of Portugal Connect is taking place, with a budget (now cofinanced by Portugal 2020) which is double from the previous program, with a broader scope destined to embrace all tech companies. This new project intends, during 2016, to develop a set of actions directed to a market that was part of the previous entrepreneurial missions, including participation in important fairs in Mexico's strategic sectors such as automotive industry, education and aerospace.

Besides participating in fairs and promotional events, Portugal Connect offers adherent companies the following services:

i) Institutional framework through the CCILM support network in Portugal and Mexico;
ii) technical support and provision of information related with the Mexican market;
iii) assistance in identifying business partners and support in decision-making;
v) Sharing facilities in the CCILM delegation in Mexico City;
vi) Financial support from Portugal 2020, at a rate of 45% during the project implementation period.
Particularly, this project will benefit from the experience gained along the previous phase og Portugal Connect, not only with the extension of CCILM's support basis in Mexico but also from the continued establishment of contact with mexican governmental entities and business associations in the country, with the sequential growth of export/internationalization possibilities to Mexico.

With a huge economy, eager for tech solutions that introduce eficiency in the productive processes, a business sector in need of innovative technological solutions - and as a important platform for other Latin America countries and the United States – the mexican government has a ongoing set of reforms aimed to modernize its national infrastructures and a strong interest in atracting projects that improve productivity.

The good reputation of portuguese products, and the association to Portugal Connect, will allow portuguese tech companies to explore a huge range of opportunities.

Mexico has one of the most competitive economies in the world, and agreements signed with more than 40 countries. Its conditions of political and macroeconomical stability open a wide number of possibilities for the reinforcement of economic relations between the two countries. This fact is witnessed by the growing number of portuguese companies that seek this market to place their products or establish a local representation. Portuguese investments in automotive, molds, IT, infrastructures, energy and environment, have been specially interesting. Being a member of the NAFTA block (USA, Canada, Mexico), and more recently a member of the Pacific Alliance (Peru, Colombia, Chile, Mexico), are other favourable details to the mexican market as a triangular access point to other developed markets.

Portugal can also become a pivot point for mexican companies to reach portuguese.-speaking african markets, specially Angola and Mozambique.

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