Located between the USA and South America, Mexico is rich in history and tradition. The largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most populated in Latin America, it brings significant opportunities for multinational businesses.

Covid-19 latest information

This guide is an accurate reflection of the pre-Covid-19 business environment in Mexico. Please note that due to the current situation, some circumstances may have changed in this country. Figures and data in the guide were last updated in May 2021.


Welcome to Mexico

Mexico’s considerable growth potential, and large population with a high proportion of young workers, also help position the country as an ideal international business hub.

Often ranked as one of the world’s top emerging markets, the country’s enviable climate, picturesque coastlines, world-renowned cuisine, deep cultural roots and relatively low cost of living all add to its appeal.

Grupo Financiero HSBC is one of the leading financial and banking groups in Mexico. Our 16,000 employees operate from over 980 branches, offering banking services to more than 8.5 million customers throughout the country.

Local knowledge is vital to help tap into the vast potential that Mexico has to offer. HSBC’s strong on-the-ground presence in the country, alongside 150 years’ experience and a wealth of global capabilities, make it the perfect partner to enable international businesses to thrive.

We look forward to welcoming and doing business with you!

Jorge Arce Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Mexico

Head office address: Ave. Paseo de la Reforma 347, Col. Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Mexico DF, Mexico


124 million1
1,964,375 sq km
Main languages
Spanish is the official language, though English is widely spoken
Capital city
Mexico City
Other major cities
Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, Tijuana, Querétaro, Juarez
Mexican Peso
Dialling code
USD10,275.63 per capita2
Top exports
Vehicles, electrical machinery and equipment, machinery including computers, mineral fuels including oil, optical, technical, medical apparatus, plastics, plastic articles, furniture3
Top imports
Electrical machinery, equipment, machinery including computers, vehicles, mineral fuels including oil, plastics, plastic articles, optical, technical, medical apparatus3
Unemployment rate
4.4% (March 2021)2
Corporation tax
Typical office hours
8.00am – 6.00pm, Monday to Friday
Time zone
UTC -8
Emergency numbers
911 (police, fire and ambulance)

1 World Bank Group, 2019
2 Trading Economics, 2021
3 World's Top Exports, 2020
4PwC, 2019
*Map shows cities of economic significance according to the CIA, 2019

Mexico: A growing international hub

  • Consistent growth

    Mexico has been a stable economy for a number of years. It has maintained consistent slow growth with a variety of reforms to manage debt and invite foreign investors for an increasingly open economy.

  • Well connected

    Mexico is connected to 60% of the world’s GDP with overland access to the US and Central America as well as to the East and West with ports in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

  • Focus on innovation

    Mexico has increased its research and development (R&D) budgets by 42% in less than a decade and offers tax incentives for R&D spending and investment.

  • Manufacturing leader

    Mexico continues to grow its global manufacturing base in a wide range of industries including automotive, flat-screen TVs, computers and telephones due to its relatively low cost of labour, plentiful industrial space in the North and attractive government incentives.

  • Ideal trading partner

    Trade agreements and partnerships that extend around the world, and ongoing conversations with more countries, makes Mexico an open and ideal trading partner.


# 60

for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)

Country profile

Mexico is known for its rich history, strong cultural blend and distinct cuisine. But it’s also a significant international trade hub and manufacturing powerhouse.

Mexico has more free trade agreements (FTAs) than any other country in the world - 12 FTAs with 46 countries. Further to the unsuccessful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in November 2018 Mexico secured the continuation of trade under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Mexico can provide a connection to over one billion consumers and 60% of the world’s GDP.

The country still has internal and external challenges, but low unemployment, strong remittances and the recovery of real wages will support household consumption. Investment is also expected to strengthen on the back of increased confidence associated with the new trade agreement.

All of that aside, the government has been successful at containing inflation and has put reforms in place to attract foreign investors, which has led to steady growth and a positive outlook. Mexico’s economy is divided into four geographic regions – the North, North-Central, Central and South regions.

Read on to discover more about the dos and don’ts of doing business in Mexico. Also find out how trading in or with the country could help boost the future growth of your business.

5 reasons to do business in Mexico1

  1. Well-educated workforce
    Mexico has a young and well-educated workforce, with a median age of 27.5 years.
  2. Low labour costs
    The low cost of labour in Mexico, combined with higher productivity, is attractive to many manufacturers.
  3. Gateway to consumers
    Mexico has the Freest Trade Agreements of any country, providing a gateway to one billion consumers.
  4. Ripe for foreign investment
    Government reforms focused on encouraging foreign investment have been introduced in Mexico.
  5. Encouraging growth
    In 2020, Mexico saw a slump in economic growth, but a strong recovery is underway, predicting a 3.5% growth over 2021 and continuing at over 2% for the next few years.

5 key challenges2

  1. 1

    Reliance on the US economy

    The US is Mexico’s main trade partner, its biggest market for exports and its key supplier. As a result, Mexico’s economic stability and growth depends a good deal on the state of the US economy.

  2. 2

    Crime rate

    While violence and organised crime has been on the decline in recent years, there are still concerns. This includes a rise in the theft of gas and oil from Mexican pipelines and a 37% increase in highway freight robberies.

  3. 3

    Gaining permits

    There are 10 procedures involved in getting a construction permit, which takes around 69 days. Connecting to the water and sewerage systems alone is a month-long process, and obtaining land-use and feasibility certificates can be complicated.

  4. 4

    Electricity access

    Mexico is ranked 106th by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for ease of getting electricity. The process requires a number of steps, including submitting applications for certificates and inspections from the Comisión Federal de Electricidad.

  5. 5

    Paying taxes

    Although there are only six payments, it takes an average of 337 business hours each year for businesses to pay their taxes. The corporate tax, which is 30%, takes 155 hours alone.

1 UK Government, 2018
2 TMF Group, 2018