Leeds companies are looking to Mexico for business development after hearing that the Latin American country has record levels of investment and access to 44 markets, equal to 60% of the world’s GDP.
21 Leeds companies and organisations specialising in medical technologies, education, legal and financial services met with a delegation from Mexico last week to forge trading links and create opportunities for investment between the city and Mexico.
Antonio Mayer, the President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico spoke at a keynote event. He said: “Mexico is the newest and most competitive global market with direct access to Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. The country has increased infrastructure investment from 3% to 5% of GDP and now have 12 trade agreements with 344 markets. Mexico is a solid and 100% stable economy at a time when other countries are looking to increase trade.
"Whilst in Leeds, the hospitality has been wonderful and, importantly, we have met with a number of organisations through which we can do business with in the future. It is clear that Leeds companies are looking closer to Mexico for business development and there are great opportunities for commercial projects and investment between them and Mexico. It’s wonderful to see that companies here appreciate the benefit of competition and opening trade.
"We also hope to receive a mission from the UK in the next 12 months, with a similar programme and group of businessmen eager to open new markets.”
During the two day visit by over 40 business and civic leaders from the Latin American country, the delegation toured Surgical Innovations, DLA Piper, Shulman’s, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds City College, the University of Leeds and International Personal Finance. They also heard from representatives of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, HSBC and Santander. The delegation advised Leeds companies about product regulation in Mexico to improve the speed at which products can get to market and heard about opportunities for knowledge transfer partnerships.
Leeds was the only city visited outside London as part of the week-long programme of events to celebrate the 90th birthday of the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico.
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, who also spoke at the keynote event, held on Thursday 15th, at the Queens Hotel, said: "Leeds is committed to becoming the best city in the UK and I am delighted that such a large delegation from Mexico chose to visit Leeds as part of their trade mission to the UK. The presence of the delegation in Leeds demonstrates the strength of Leeds’ position in the UK economy.
"The mission has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase our strengths. Leeds is the UK’s most important financial centre for professional and legal services outside London and the economy benefits from leading healthcare and medical technology companies. Representatives from all these sectors have met with the Mexican delegation and have, I know, forged links for future collaborative working with this important trading country.”
Organised by Marketing Leeds and UKTI Yorkshire and Humber alongside the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (BRITCHAM), the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in the UK and the Mexican Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology, the delegation undertook a two day programme of sector focused activity in Leeds (14-15 March).