New Zealand - Kiwi exporters looking to diversify their markets should not overlook opportunities arising in Mexico from a booming middle-class, says New Zealand's trade commissioner to the Latin-American country.
New Zealand exports to Mexico were worth $363 million last year, making the region its 24th biggest trading partner.
Jorge Arguelles, New Zealand's Trade Commissioner for Mexico, says companies have not traditionally thought of the Latin American nation as a priority market. "Mexico has been pretty stable though for the past 12 years," he said.
"The bigger middle-class is creating a lot more opportunities for New Zealand in terms of consumers," said Mexico City-based Arguelles. "Also, there are 30 to 35 New Zealand companies operating in Mexico."
"We're seeing a lot more New Zealand companies trying to get into the market. It's better for companies to have this mix of export markets, so I would encourage them to discuss their plans with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and create a business development plan with us."
"A recent World Bank report shows 17 percent of Mexico's 113 million people joined the middle class ranks since 2000," Arguelles said, "and a growing middle-class means more demand for high-protein products, of which New Zealand is a top producer."
Dairy products already account for 62 percent of New Zealand's exports and they would like to see that grow. But, he said, the country should also be looking to push its other strong areas, such as agribusiness.
Mexican agricultural producers are open to innovative processes and products - and there are opportunities around machinery and efficient technologies, he said. "It's well known that New Zealand is a world leader in terms of efficiency in agricultural production.
"We're trying to promote these products and services into Mexico," stated Arguelles.
Companies such as Tru-Test and Gallagher have been operating in Mexico for a number of years but New Zealand's Trade Commissioner thinks there is room to grow. Other opportunities exist in the consumer-retail sector as urbanization and rising income levels lead to increased consumer spending.
New Zealand based "Pumpkin Patch" - a children's clothing brand - officially launched in Mexico this month and Arguelles said he would like to see others follow suit.
* New Zealand and Mexico established a diplomatic relationship 37 years ago.
* Two-way trade was worth $597 million in the last year.* New Zealand's main imports from Mexico include electronic communications equipment, computer components, and beer.