Latin America: an attractive area for French industry

Alban D'HERBES, regional manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at Bpifrance, explains the attractiveness of the region and export opportunities.



1 billion dollars of trade, that's the value of products and services transiting every day without customs duties on one of the largest markets in the world through 3 key areas. "The continent gives the impression of wanting to renew stronger ties with Europe as if to counterbalance the political decisions of the United States. For us French, this is good news, even if the U.S. market remains huge" explains Joel Salaün, international development advisor for Southern Europe, South America, and Central America at CCI International Hauts-de-France.


"Latin America is one of the few continents which we have a trade surplus with"

With a territory of over 650 million souls and a strategic position between North America and Asia Pacific. Mexico has benefit in 2020 from a new free trade agreement with Canada and the US, renewed last year by Donald Trump. "Actually, when you settle in Mexico to export to the United States, you don't have tariffs on a vast majority of products" explains Alban d'Herbes, regional manager of the Latin America and Caribbean zone at Bpifrance. "Mexico is also attractive for its industry in full transformation with flagship sectors such as automotive. The share of renewable energy is also growing, especially in Chile, which has great potential" he continues.

The French industry represented by La French Fab is very present in the area. Its main markets are equipment and infrastructure, textile industries, digital, automotive industries, railways, aerospace, food, and plastic surgery or medical tourism.

It is all French skills of excellence that exports to Latin America: "38 companies of the CAC 40 are present, Latin America is one of the few continents which we have a trade surplus with. This is illustrated by the presence of MAF Agrobotic in Peru, a world leader in global solutions for fruit and vegetables, and Filcair in Mexico, a manufacturer of high-tech plastic greenhouses" says Alban.


How does Bpifrance support French entrepreneurs in Latin America?

"At Bpifrance, we are aware of the potential of this zone and we have forged strong ties with key players in the region to support French entrepreneurs who want to set up there" says Pedro Novo, Executive Director in charge of exports at Bpifrance.

The first strategy of the Bpifrance team in Mexico is to promote Latin America to exporters and institutions. To do this, they organize prospecting missions, buying missions where it brings buyers to France in the form of a "Meet & Match". A place to meet companies with which they could work or in which they could invest. Today, Bpifrance supports exporters at every stage of their development in Latin America by signing agreements with the Mexican Foreign Trade Bank and the Dominican Foreign Trade Bank.

In such a heterogeneous and economically fragmented zone, the key to success for entrepreneurs is to be well supported and, above all, to be well informed about the market. And also, to create long-term relationships with partners, and contact the Bpifrance team in the zone, which has a solid network of skilled partners, regardless of the company's activity.