ANZMEX - Australia, New Zealand, Mexico Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc
An Interview with Roxana Bravo: Part of our new series recording the perspectives of Mexican-Australians
"Victor Perton in conversation with Roxana Bravo: Roxana has been living in Melbourne for a year after moving from Mexico. She is a former Mexican Trade Commissioner.
VP: Roxana, how long have you been living in Melbourne? Why did you move here?
RB: Next May we will have been in Melbourne for a year. Our family moved here to enjoy a new culture. Australia has a great quality of life and our children and ourselves are enjoying the friendships shown by the people we have met.
VP: What is different living in Melbourne rather than Mexico?
RB: Australia is very multicultural, open and friendly. What many people don’t realize is that Mexico is also varied in culture and people. The food in Mexico is regional and varied, rich in color and flavour. The people have a strong and proud heritage, a blend of ancient civilizations mixed with Spanish and more recently American influences. As Australia is becoming more influenced by its regional neighbours such as China and Asia, Mexico adds a Latin American vibrancy as part of North America.
VP: I understand you worked in economic development in Mexico. What were your roles?
RB: I worked for the Mexican Government in trade promotion for over 20 years. First for Bancomext, where I worked as a Deputy Trade Comissioner in Vancouver, Canada and also in Seattle in the United States. Later I developed programs to promote Mexico’s textile, apparel and footwear capabilities to various international markets. Later in ProMexico, my team supported companies to increase their exports in textiles, apparel, footwear, jewelry, gifts & handcrafts and also in furniture. Our endeavours helped Mexican companies to promote their products not only in North America, but also throughout Latin American, Europe, and Asia. We organized activities for Mexican companies including trade shows, market research to identify opportunities for their products, trade delegations, as well as finding potential buyers and distributors. Another function was to help attract foreign investment to Mexico from North America, Europe and Asia.
VP: What opportunities do you suggest for ANZMEX companies in Mexico?
RB: There are significant opportunities for ANZMEX, Mexico is part of North America and it is an emerging and growing market with increasingly affluent consumers. NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, offers investors access to the United States and Canadian markets. Mexico is also a leader and bridge in Latin America. Mexico offers Australian and New Zealand companies opportunities in sectors such as dairy products and beef, but it also has demand for technology to modernize its industries, ranging from mining through to crops and livestock. Nevertheless more commercial links need to be made between Mexico and Australia and New Zealand. Initiatives such as trade missions should be promoted so companies can explore new opportunities. Efforts should be targeted on niche markets where there is competitive advantage matched to opportunity. Mining, dairy and meat are known market opportunities in Mexico but focus should be placed on technology as Mexico modernizes its industry, and also on its growing consumer market. Opportunities exist for Mexican companies in Australia and New Zealand not only in food and beverages but also in specialist segments such as silver jewellery and giftware.
VP: What opportunities for investment and export do you see for Mexican companies in Australia and New Zealand?
RB: Companies from Mexico who are internationally competitive in food processing, beverage, agriculture, building products and mining have strong investment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand and Australia are attractive markets in their own right but also can be an initial step to investment in the Asian region. The strongest opportunities for export from Mexico to Australia and New Zealand are food and beverage, with several well known brands and products already well positioned. Smaller Mexican companies have export opportunities especially in niche markets such as giftware and silver jewelry where design can differentiate the offering from competition from Asia. Mexico also has a competitive offering in auto parts and electronics.
The first step for a Mexican company contemplating exporting or investing in New Zealand and Australian markets is research so as understand market size and potential, distribution options and also competition. Both countries are attractive targets for Mexican exporters and market knowledge will guide their success.
VP: The New Zealand Prime Minister recently visited Mexico. Have you heard any reactions to that visit?
John Key was one of the first foreign leaders to meet with Mexico’s new President. The visit had a positive outcome with both leaders committed to strengthening trade relationships. As Pacific neighbours it is in the interest of both countries to promote wider free trade in the region. In addition commitment was made to reinforce the development of small and medium sized businesses in both countries. The visit also provided the opportunity for New Zealand technology companies with expertise in horticulture, animal health and pasture based farming systems to promote their services and products.
You are Mexican, your husband is a Kiwi and your kids are being brought up in Australian. What are the best opportunities for your family?
RB: Australia and New Zealand offer great opportunities for my family. Both countries have strong ties through a common heritage. My girls are bilingual and have strong roots in Mexico. They are assimilating the Australian culture, the avid interest in sport, the friendliness and openness of everyone and also the respect for others, a highlight of which is the ANZAC commemorations this week.
VP: Do you cook Mexican at home?
My preference is to cook Mexican dishes for the family. Melbourne has great markets and a wide offering of fresh ingredients for many Mexican meals. There a few but growing number of specialist stores in Melbourne that offer Mexican staples such as refried beans, chipotle and other chilies as well as corn tortillas.
VP: What are your favourite Mexican restaurants in Melbourne?
RB: Melbourne has a number of great Mexican restaurants, many of which offer blend of Mexican flavour with a twist of the southern USA. We have enjoyed tacos of arranchera, tinga and enchiladas at restaurants like Mamasita and Amigos. It is great to see a wide array of quality tequila on offer in many restaurants and bars. Also we have been surprised to find at various places a local soft drink called Jarritos.
VP: Do you barrack for any local sporting teams?
RB: Hawthorne as we live close by, we were told when we arrived not to support any teams that start with “C”.
Roxana may be contacted via Linkedin. Victor Perton is the President of ANZMEX and the principal of Victor Perton Global Partners: He may be contacted by email or via linkedin. "
Link : http://anzmex.org.au/2013/04/an-interview-with-roxana-bravo-part-of-our-new-series-recording-the-perspectives-of-mexican-australians/
«Think Tank» Européen "Mexique",
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