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Mexico: Next emerging market for Korea
Expectations are rising that President Park Geun-hye's visit to Mexico will speed up expansion of manufacturers and local companies into the relatively untapped yet highly potential market.

The four-day trip to the Latin American country is remarkable, as Park has formed the largest-ever business delegation to the country with more than 140 local business leaders. This reflects her strong will to forge a strategic economic alliance with the Mexican government.

Korea's technology giants such as Samsung and LG have been making continued efforts to extend their footing on the global stage. But generally speaking, Korean firms have put less importance on the Latin American market ― including Mexico and Brazil ― than other key markets such as China and the United States. But it is time for local companies to focus on the massive potential that Mexico has in terms of its huge population and its will to invest in technology infrastructure of which Korean firms have expertise.

Mexico has a 55 million-strong labor force out of its population of 122 million, twice as large as that of the Korean labor force. A cheap workforce is another merit Korean companies can enjoy in the emerging market. For example, the average annual salary for an unskilled worker in the automobile industry is $3,645, lower than China's $5,726, according to data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

In particular, the country has huge demand for electronic components and materials, while having enough mineral resources such as silver, copper and zinc of which Korea is short.

The complementary relationship is well-manifested in the growing trend of Korea's exports to Mexico, which exceeded $10.9 billion in 2015, almost doubling the $6.3 billion recorded in 2006.

To be more specific, Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito has drawn an economic development plan to reinforce its national competitiveness. Under the six-year initiative, the country is making huge investments in nationwide technology infrastructure and finding new revenue sources in the energy and medical sectors.

This will allow Korean companies to expand their footage into Mexico on not just the manufacturing business, but also the IT industry.

The Mexican government is also signing free trade agreements with a number of European and South American countries, serving as a beachhead for local companies to seek deeper penetration into the Americas.

The Korean government is planning to provide incentives and consulting services for local companies that will expand into the Mexican market.

Source: The Korea Times

EXTRA:

pena nieto and korean president bilateral cooperationOfficial visit by President of Korea Park Geun-hye
The Korean community in Mexico has shared its language, cuisine, national sport and progress in various fields of knowledge.
President Enrique Peña Nieto received Her Excellency Mrs. Park Geun-hye, President of Korea, at the National Palace.

· Mexico and Korea established diplomatic relations in 1962. The past 15 years have seen a rapprochement, especially following the entry into force of the Strategic Partnership for Shared Prosperity in 2005.

· “In the person of President Park Geun-hye, Mexico receives the noble Korean nation, a people to which we are bound by close ties of friendship and solidarity, cooperation and joint work.”

· ”Mexicans value and recognize Korea’s tenacity and commitment, in becoming, in less than three decades, one of the most modern, dynamic and developed economies.”

Bilateral Relations

- In 2000, total trade was $4 billion USD; by 2015, it was practically $17.5 billion USD. Its annual investment in Mexico has increased by a factor of 24 during the same period.

- Korea is Mexico’s sixth largest trading partner and the second largest source of investment from Asia.

- Mexico is Korea’s largest trading partner in Latin America, and one of the top 10 destinations for Korean products.

- There are more than 1,700 companies of Korean origin in Mexico, which contribute to job creation, regional development, technological progress, productivity and, above all, the creation of value in Mexico.

- Tourism is growing rapidly; in 2015, more than 90,000 Korean visitors arrived in Mexico, twice the number in 2012.

- Mexico and Korea have a strategic partnership with solid bilateral ties, which, together with the coincidences at the multilateral level, are reflected in the global agenda.

- Korea and Mexico are both APEC members and co-leaders of MIKTA, comprising the following rising nations: Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Korea and Mexico.

“Your administration, President Park, is renewing the validity of this successful model of development, and we are confident that by promoting a new 'era of hope', your government will be remembered as the second miracle of the Han River.”

"We acknowledge your leadership in promoting structural reforms and public policies to promote the new creative economy, and support the talent of young entrepreneurs.”

By Mexican Presidency www.gob.mx/presidencia/articulos/official-visit-by-president-of-korea-park-geun-hye



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