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A new report by New Zealand Story Group has identified a thriving middle class in Mexico and a demand for Kiwi-style products, thanks to the new CPTPP trade agreement.

The report has identified key ways for exporters and government agencies to engage in Mexico, following the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

CPTPP has enabled New Zealand exporters’ access to a number of new markets, Mexico being one of the largest.

The in-market research in Mexico City, commissioned by the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (Latin America CAPE), focuses on supporting a better understanding of the trade opportunities offered to New Zealand exporters to Mexico through the CPTPP. Findings include how Mexican consumers and businesses perceive New Zealand, key points for business engagement and sector specific considerations for trade. It also identified several distinctive cultural characteristics, which represent key differences that could impact business and buying decisions

The reports key findings are:

  • Mexico’s thriving and expanding middle class will create more opportunities for New Zealand companies; these emergent consumers believe in a global and connected society and seek premium and niche products and experiences.
  • There is a growing pride for ‘Made in Mexico’ and increasingly sophisticated manufacturing. However, emergent Mexican consumers have a deep appreciation and desire for offshore brands and businesses are looking to collaborate and build partnerships outside of Mexico to enhance their knowledge and capability; ‘Made with Mexico’ is a significant opportunity to be explored.
  • Emergent Mexican consumers are also seeking solutions to social equality, environmental impacts and climate change. With clear parallels to New Zealand, there are opportunities to work together on our nation’s shared agendas.

Rebecca Smith, director New Zealand Story Group says Mexico is ranked the easiest place to do business in Latin America¹ and, although a strong domestic market, it is an emerging and exciting market for New Zealand. “The in-market research objective was to explore the perceptions that both Mexican consumers and business people have of New Zealand, and how New Zealand exporters can position themselves to grow relevance in Mexico at a B2B and consumer level.

“We found several perceptions that create barriers for Kiwi businesses trying to enter this market. One example is the perception of being seen as a remote and rural nation. In the education sector, this can be mitigated by dialling up modern and personalised learning with cutting-edge technology.”

Critical advice for exporters from Dr Matthew O’Meagher, director of the Latin American CAPE, is to learn about Mexican people and their ways of “thinking, producing and consuming” and to remember it takes time to become established as a business and brand in Mexico. “The Mexico Perception Research provides insights into Mexican perceptions and provides excellent advice on the best strategies to follow when building relationships with Mexican stakeholders.

“Ultimately, this research is a valuable step towards developing our knowledge and understanding of the Mexico and the wider Latin American markets, and to building a sustainable trade relationship.”

Mexico Perception Research is part of a larger, in-market perception research programme led by New Zealand Story. This research seeks to better understand how New Zealand is seen by a number of our key trading partners, and just as importantly, overcome perception barriers and build capability to trigger better outcomes in those markets.



Key findings of the perception research can be downloaded from the NZ Story Toolkit

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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