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Business finance Updated: 22 Jan 2016

The virtuous circle between Spanish and Mexican entrepreneurs

Spanish and Mexican businessmen certify that companies from either country are very likely to succeed if they decide to unite efforts and work together.

Fotografía de el círculo virtuoso entre compañías y empresarios de España y México. BBVA

Pedro Irujo, Vice-President of Neoris, a CEMEX subsidiary and multinational consulting firm specializing in the application of IT solutions to business problems, said, during a conference in Casa América in Madrid attended by representatives from Mexican and Spanish companies, that, when somebody asks him about the chances to succeed and the similarities that the companies from these two countries, he always answers that there are plenty of them, thanks to the language, values or educational aspects they share. “All this is undoubtedly an powerful enabler, not an inhibitor,” he pointed out.

BBVA, a success model    

"So, when they ask me about a specific case, I always answer that BBVA is the perfect example of success in this relationship. The virtuous relationship between both countries is very positive, because this bank is not one of Spain's biggest names, but in Mexico has also become the Group’s largest with a huge volume of attributable profit," he added.

Delving deeper into the issue, Irujo explained: "Spanish and Mexican executives and businessmen understand each other very well and many times approach business issues from a very similar perspective.”

"The inflow of Spanish migrants was key to Mexico’s development

In this same line, Carlos Dávila, Chairman of Grupo Alfa in Spain (a multinational Mexican conglomerate of aluminum automobile components, petrochemical products, refrigerated food, oil and natural gas) argued that the inflow of Spanish migrants was key to Mexico’s development. “The Spanish families that arrived at Mexico effectively contributed to our nation’s growth. They represented an essential inflow of resources and opportunities for people. They added value.”

Spanish and Mexican businessmen: shared behaviors, language and lifestyles 

“The similarities in the way we behave is a great advantage, as are the language and also consumer trends and the lifestyle, all of which make it really easy for us to interact and make things work. I was born in Mexico, but have been living here for almost 10 years now, and not only it is becoming increasingly easy to overhear Mexican accents in Madrid, but the fact is that both countries are also finding it easier to build diplomatic and business ties,” Dávila added.

"It is important for large Mexican groups to have a strong Spanish ascent

Finally, Ximena Carazo, Director of Pro Mexico in Spain, focused on how important it is for large Mexican groups to have a “strong Spanish ascent”: “This is the case of the Bimbo Group, which started in the 1940s in Mexico and started operating in Madrid a few years later. Now, it is the largest baking company in Spain.”

Ms. Carazo explained why it became so clear to Mexico that the internationalization process in which it embarked decades ago was so essential: "This is something that Mexico has been working on for years. Our country decided to become an open economy and was able to succeed at it. Since its accession to GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) it started betting on open and competitive economies.”

“Therefore, it bet on nations that to a greater degree have become members of free trade agreements. And thus, the country has become a role model for others, because it has managed to drive its internationalization process beyond the US and Latin America", she added. "To become bigger, large companies need to merge with others, just as BBVA, FCC or OHL have done. And this is how one competes, with solid foundations and synergies in an increasingly global world”.