From packaging to cars, Mexico is hunting for “made in Emilia”

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Mexico is hungry for the excellence of the Emilia-Romagna production districts, from packaging technologies to agricultural machinery and automotive, from oil & gas infrastructures to the products of the food valley and it is a market to bet on, in a phase of widespread weakness of the partners traditional of the Via Emilia. «Mexico is a politically stable country, with public finances in order, an economy that grows by over 3% a year and 132 million consumers (half of whom are under 28 years old) which rise to over 360 million in the area Nafta, because thanks to the new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada (USMCA) Mexico becomes the preferential access gateway to all of North America, as well as being the first socioeconomic partner of the USA and the country with the most trade agreements in the world of free trade: 13 with 53 nations worth 60% of world GDP.” This is the key message that the Mexican ambassador to Italy, Carlos Garcia de Alba Zepeda, launched to the Emilian entrepreneurs, met at the conference organized last December by Emilbanca and Iccrea to build a bridge overseas. Towards a destination that is still in 24th place among the export destinations of Emilia-Romagna and which is still little discussed in industrial circles, but with enormous potential.

Among the Italian regions, Emilia-Romagna is third in terms of flows of goods directed towards Mexico (630 million euros of exports in the first nine months of 2023, behind Lombardy and Veneto, the three regions together are worth almost 60% of all Italian exports to the country overlooking the Caribbean Sea) with an annual growth of 12%, one point above the national average. Mechanics accounts for the lion’s share, in particular with wrapping and packaging machines (13.5% of total regional exports), lifting and handling machines, those for construction sites and systems for special uses, says the analysis of Trader, the tool for the internationalization of Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna. Which confirms these segments as the most promising also in the coming years, given Mexico’s hunger for innovative solutions to accelerate industrial and energy development. The Intesa Sanpaolo district monitor confirms: Mexico is the destination that – together with Turkey and Australia – has given the greatest commercial satisfaction to the region’s supply chains, compared to the pre-pandemic situation, with growth rates of around 40% in 2022 (last complete annual data).

However, there are still not many brands like Bonatti, an Emilian giant in systems for the energy industry, which boast a consolidated history in the land better known for tequila, beaches and parties than for business opportunities: «We have been in Mexico since 2012 and then the country became the backbone of our company, with a share of 20-30% of the total turnover and around 2 thousand employees, 99% of whom are local. And it will increasingly become a platform for the entire American continent, Mexican colleagues already support our activities even in countries like Canada and Chile”, with these words the CEO of Bonatti, Andrea Colombo, welcomed the ambassador García de Alba Zepeda, visiting the group’s headquarters in Parma.

There are around 1,500 exporting companies on the Via Emilia in Mexico and over 200 direct investments in the country. «Mexico is the first exporter and importer in Latin America, and 12th in the world, the 15th economic power, the ninth most attractive country for foreign direct investments, the seventh tourist destination in the world with 35 sites recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is a leading land in global manufacturing with an advantageous integration of production value chains and foreign trade”, underlines Angelo Pansini, vice president of CaMexItal, the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Italy founded last May with the recognition of Mimit. Among the partners of Via Emilia there are IEG (Italia Exhibition Group) and Roadhouse-Gruppo Cremonini, a brand that manages around 300 restaurants in Italy of which 175 are historic steakhouses and the other 125 are Mexican-inspired establishments born in 2017, 25 Calavera (the name of the skulls symbolizing the most famous Mexican anniversary, The Day of the Dead) and almost 100 Billy Tacos, fast food – tex mex. «They are formats of our own creation, developed after a period of study from which we emerged with the belief that Mexican cuisine was among the ethnic cuisines most loved, if not the most loved, by Italians. The facts have proved us right: the 25 Calaveras will become 30 in 2024 and the Billy Tacos 130. But they are not just places where you can taste typical dishes but where you can learn Mexican culture, thanks to the close collaboration with the Mexican Embassy in Italy and the Consulate”, says Alfonso Iannotta, Roadhouse marketing director.

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