UK businesses should look to Mexico for potential investment, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Digby Jones, has urged.

Speaking at Canning House, the home of the Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Council in London, he said: “Between 1996 and 2006, total bilateral trade more than doubled and in 2007, it increased by a further 12%. Today there are about 770 companies with UK capital established in Mexico.”

Digby Jones, who visited the country in May this year, suggested that more could be done by British businesses to foster healthy business relations with Mexico, following the example of countries such as Canada, Germany and France.

The minister launched a three-year action plan with the Mexican government trade and investment agency, ProMéxico, and praised the five-year national infrastructure plan introduced by President Calderon in July 2007.

Digby Jones said: “This was one of the principal reasons I visited Mexico: to find out more about the $250 billion investment the government is making in infrastructure and to see where you, British business, can benefit.”

He outlined seven potential areas of interest for UK companies:

  • infrastructure
  • construction
  • PPPs
  • ports
  • railways
  • airports
  • water

“There will be opportunities aplenty for British companies specialising in many areas including consulting engineers, facilities managers, project financing experts, equipment and machinery suppliers and security consultants,” Digby Jones said.

“The good news is that there is a huge amount of business in this area still to be won. About 50% of the national infrastructure plan will be funded by private initiatives and many projects on a local scale require private funding too.

“There are also opportunities for British investors, banks and financial institutions to enter the market as concessions and sale of assets are also important methods of financing infrastructure projects in Mexico.”

Goldman Sachs has predicted that Mexico will be the fifth largest economy in the world by 2040.

Original print headline - Mexico is full of opportunities for UK firms, says trade and investment minister