Entrepreneurship in Mexico : lessons for stakeholders in New Zealand
Frederick, Howard 2004, Entrepreneurship in Mexico : lessons for stakeholders in New Zealand, in ANZAM 2004 : Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, 8-11 December 2004, Dunedin, New Zealand, University of Otago, Dunedin, N.Z..
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A “neighbour” separated by 6,000 km of Pacific, Mexico is by far New Zealand’s largest trading partner in Latin America and its 15th largest overall. With two-way trade worth NZ$584 million in 2002, many Mexicans grow up on New Zealand milk powder and baby formula. Not only is Mexico’s population of 100 million a huge potential economic partner in its own right, through its network of free trade agreements, Mexico has preferential access to 860 million consumers in 32 countries covering sixty percent of the world’s GDP.
Like New Zealand, Mexico is a “New World” country open to new ideas and innovation. Also like New Zealand, Mexico is known internationally for economic reforms that have created two outward-looking, world-trading, and competitive economies. During the last 50 years, the Mexican economy has shifted away from the once dominant sectors of agriculture and mining toward more industrial activities, especially in the major urban centres of Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and other regional centres, where entrepreneurs are concentrated. With this shift, a new class of entrepreneurs arose with the support of the government.
One of those regional centres is the State of Sinaloa, with its capital city, Culiacán. Spearheaded by a visionary government and personified by the Secretary of Economic Development, Heriberto Felix Guerra. Secretary Felix is himself restaurant entrepreneur who owns a growing chain of “concept food” restaurants in the region.
It is no accident that when New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark visited Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada on 15 November 2001, one of the topics of conversation was the fact that very day their two countries had been benchmarked as two of the world’s most entrepreneurial countries in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2001 survey.
More germane, both countries have low-aspiration entrepreneurs who generate low levels of wealth and have low potential for growth. Both are dominated by micro-businesses that do not have high-value-added components and are not investment-ready and pre-qualified for risk capita.
This leads to the question, what can New Zealanders learn from the experience of Mexican entrepreneurship?
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