ProMexico, the trade promotion agency set up in 2007, is to close all of its foreign offices as part of a cost saving drive by the Mexican government.
The decision was announced last September by the then president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who said ProMexico’s 47 overseas offices “do not do anything and use up a lot of resources in promotional work”.
All of the foreign offices are expected to close by the end of February, with responsibilities for attracting investment and promoting foreign trade passing to embassies and consulates.
However, critics of the move say it will be a huge setback for Mexican companies looking to play a greater role on the international market.
César Fragoso, head of the agency’s sectorial development unit, insisted it had achieved tangible results in attracting foreign investment and promoting Mexican companies abroad.
Speaking in September last year, Fragoso noted that of the US$200bn of direct foreign investment secured by the then administration, 40 per cent was the result of the work carried out by ProMexico.
ProMéxico was founded in 2007 during the administration of Felipe Calderón with the objective of promoting foreign trade.
The network spans the entire globe, with offices in the US, Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and the UK among others.