About the Dual Year: UK in Mexico and Mexico in UK

About the Dual Year: UK in Mexico and Mexico in UK

Leopoldo Mitre – March 9, 2015

Both countries can learn from each other what they need to enhance their brand - Country: Mexico can copy UK’s Respectability and the British people learn about the famous Mexican Friendliness.


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During the beginning of March the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, made a 3-day state visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, where Queen Elizabeth II received him and some of the most distinguish representatives of UK. Is important to say that this event is something that not many can experience, because the diplomatic agenda in Britain only afford two state visits per year. In fact, Mr Peña Nieto becomes the fourth Mexican president that makes a state visit to the UK.

In addition of the state visit that President Peña made, it’s interesting to analyse the strong and ancient relationship between the two countries. UK was the first European country that recognized the independence of Mexico in 1826 and since then British companies have had presence in Mexico. In fact now days UK is the 6th foreign investor in Mexico and Mexican exports to Great Britain accomplish 1.4 USMD during 2013.

However not all is trade and commerce, there are also signs of this relationship in other areas. For example, right now UK is the 2nd destination for Mexicans looking to study English and postgraduate degrees. And UK is the third largest tourism market for Mexico with 415,000 visitors, only behind only the United States and Canada.

Maybe this is the reason for which Queen Elizabeth mentioned in her Speech the following: “The influence that our two rich cultures have on each other is significant and growing… As we have seen many times, when the dynamism and creativity of our two countries are combined, whether that be in business, science, education, sport or culture, the results are extraordinary”.

Both countries have much to learn from each other. First, we can say that Mexico could study and copy the Respectability that Great Britain holds as a country. And then UK could learn about the well known Mexican Friendliness, which is notorious in both, culture and the warmth of its people. But may be you are asking why we refer specifically to specifically these two qualities? The reason is that, no matter there are so many other factors, these two are the ones that determine the image of a country according to a recent study on Country Brand issues that ProMexico commissioned.

This study shows that the combination of both variables, among many others, build the most important asset of a nation in terms of Country Brand power. Think for example with whom you would like to do business and what features you can value as the most important when choosing. It is very likely that you match the experts, who explained that the area under the intersection of both variables (Respectability – Friendliness) in a Cartesian plane has a direct correlation to the place that countries occupy in the scale of brand recognition.

The metrics of a Country Brand power include the perception of a country in its ability to create high quality products, the reputation of its infrastructure and in terms of how much the people want to live or study there. Also a FutureBrand’s research revealed that when a respondent rate a country positively, it increases the possibility of “visit, recommend and do business with them,” compared to other countries.

Thus, Mexico is clearly seen as a friendly country. The country’s reputation as a renowned tourist destination confirmed it. Actually we can say that Mexicans are champions in this category. However, Mexico is, at the same time, not viewed seriously in terms of business, legal certainty and quality of life. So our respectability as a country is affected. For instance, in Mexican business terms is common knowledge that a “yes means maybe, and maybe means a no”, which is seeing as an example that Mexicans are not clear and direct when doing business.

Moreover, the UK is renowned worldwide for his business acumen and naturally expansion of their businesses, high quality lifestyle in the most of the cities and the excellent infrastructure and legal certainty. However, the British can be quite grey if we refer to hospitality, spontaneity and friendliness. Is not that they are so rude and serious as the Germans, but we cannot say that their towns and folklore have the Latin spirit.

And it’s interesting how the right mix of these two factors empower the Brand of a Country: one in which the entirely world could feel safety in doing business because the Respect the country itself generated, based in the well known quality of their products and services, due to the friendliness of its people and culture. So both, Mexico and the United Kingdom, could learn a lot of each other, how to grow and empower its own Country-Brand.

The Dual Year may be the perfect pretext for both countries, but it is the responsibility of the citizens to learn from the strengths of its counterpart; to recognize in the other the positive experiences and look at the errors as a source of knowledge. It is a fact that the opportunity is equal for both nations, it our call to make it happen.