Guadalajara, Jalisco. Because Japan is the main importer of agricultural products in the world, and Jalisco is the national leader in this area, Jalisco’s agribusiness has enormous potential to increase its exports, while all the states of the Bajío region can continue to increase attracting Japanese investment in the automotive sector.

This was stated by the Japanese ambassador to Mexico, Noriteru Fukushima, during a visit to the Atlas Colomos sports club in Guadalajara, as part of the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the first Japanese migration to this country.

“For example, 90% of the avocado that we consume in Japan is from Mexico and now we are negotiating other products such as chili, paprika and also mango,” he explained.

“Japan is investing a lot (in Mexico) especially in the automotive sector; In Bajío alone, 36% of the cars produced here are from Japanese companies,” the diplomat commented.

He specified that around 20% of the Japanese cars produced in Mexico correspond to Nissan and Toyota (with data as of 2019), they already had 8% of the production.

Noriteru Fukushima indicated that Japan is the fourth most important foreign investor for Mexico, only after the United States, Spain and Canada; meanwhile, in terms of foreign trade, it represents the sixth largest market for Mexican exports.

Specifically in the state of Jalisco, there are 76 companies of Japanese origin, mainly from the automotive sectors –such as the Honda plant in the municipality of El Salto–, food and even water treatment plants.

“Also, some companies are working to have a smart city, they want to have a digital city (…) some companies are also looking for a place to have hydrogen plants, it is another area that is also interesting for the future of energy”, Fukushima said.

Last decade

The ambassador pointed out that in the last 10 years almost 30 new companies have been installed in Jalisco, and anticipated that after the pandemic the attraction of Japanese investment to the entity will be resumed.

He stressed that as a result of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and Japan, the export of tequila to the Japanese country also increased.

“Japan is a gateway to Asia, especially for agricultural products because there are phytosanitary barriers and when a product passes this phytosanitary barrier in Japan it is already marked as healthy and good and so many Asian countries do not carry out phytosanitary tests as harsh as Japan and They start to matter,” he said.

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