Politics in Mexico have never revolved around a single personality, as is often the case in other states. For the best part of a century, they have been dominated by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), founded in 1929. Continually evolving new ideologies in accordance with the contemporary global climate, the PRI has never disappeared. But this has resulted in a largely reactive government, often reflected in its economic policies. Despite this, Mexico’s economy remains relatively stable, with vast potential gains of doing business, providing the correct knowledge base.

Perhaps the most advantageous aspect of the Mexican economy for foreign investors is its trade policies, with more free trade agreements than any other country (a combination of 11 agreements spanning 46 countries). This provides a potential market access of over half the world’s GDP. Furthermore, Mexico’s legal system and tax regulations ensure there is zero discrimination between foreign and Mexican businesses. An export-oriented market, Mexico is primarily a major oil exporter, with the other main industries being automobiles and agriculture.

Despite this macroeconomic stability, a large wealth gap remains throughout Mexico, characterised by a mixture of affluence and poverty. Thankfully, this disparity has begun to improve in recent years. Other risks of doing business are the legal requirements (for example, to label all products in Spanish) and the highly competitive market.

Business culture in Mexico is very relationship-heavy, and it is vital to foster professional friendships. In order to do this, you must know how to behave, communicate and interact with the Mexican corporate world. Building a rapport can take time, and often language barriers make it necessary to have an interpreter present during dealings.

The World Business Culture website is an accessible and invaluable source of information for successfully doing business in Mexico and negotiating the complexities of its regulations and culture.


This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Mexico. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Mexico and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips