Bleak prospects, and the return of US-driven uncertainty


MEDIUM RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

The country risk assessments are your North Star metrics to make the right decision for your business and understand the risks in international trade. We have always the best solution for your needs

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GDP USD1149.919bn (World ranking 15, World Bank 2017)
Population 129.16mn (World ranking 10, World Bank 2017)
Form of state Federal Republic
Head of government Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (President)
Next elections 2024, presidential
  • Sound macro-policy framework: fiscal spending is capped and pro-active inflation-targeting central bank
  • Moderate debt ratios and strong external position (manageable current account deficit, large FX reserves)
  • Strong legacy from pro-business reforms in the last decade
  • Structural business environment exceeds Latin American average
  • Durable political framework with stable handovers of power
  • Member of OECD
  • Easy access to capital markets
  • Support from IFIs likely if needed
  • Financial integration means market volatility is driven by both domestic (more or less pro-business stance) and external (US) policy risk. Trade uncertainty dissipated but doubts over the implementation of NAFTA remain
  • Fiscal position highly sensitive to oil price (oil = 30% of public revenues)
  • Sensitive to US business cycle (around 80% of exports)
  • Skewed income distribution (geographically as well as among socio-economic groups), still high poverty levels
  • Security issues related to drug-trafficking
  • Rule of Law and control of corruption below Latin America’s average

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
United States 74%
50% United States
Canada 6%
18% China
China 3%
4% Germany
Germany 1%
3% Japan
Japan 1%
3% Korea, Republic of

Trade structure by product

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Road vehicles 23%
14% Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s.
Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s. 11%
10% Road vehicles
Telecommunication and sound recording apparatus 9%
7% Telecommunication and sound recording apparatus
Office machines and automatic data processing machines 6%
6% Other industrial machinery and parts
Other industrial machinery and parts 5%
5% Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials
The law provides no framework on standard payment terms, but it is common to rely on 30 days credit starting from the date of the invoice. In practice, payments take place wihtin 40 to 50 days on average, whilst delays of 15 to 30 days may be expected.

  • Low

  • Medium

  • Sensitive

  • High

  • Payments

  • Court proceedings

  • Insolvency proceedings

The court system is complicated by its federal structure and it is known for a lack of transparency and independence. Business disputes are not dealt with by specialized judges and in practice the fast track mechanisms which could facilitate proceedings when the claim is straightforward cannot be relied upon. Overall, procedural delays and costs are significant and pre-legal action remains the most efficient means of collecting debt.

The debt restructuration process is not efficient at all, and proceedings may last for years (ex. Mexicana). As a result, liquidation is in practice the default procedure when the debtor becomes insolvent and the chances of collect debt through this channel are very low.

Contact Euler Hermes

Economic Research Team

Georges Dib

Economist for Latin America, Spain and Portugal