Davis LLP and DFAIT Host Roundtable on Environmental and Cleantech Opportunities in Mexico

On January 28, 2013, Davis LLP and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion in Vancouver with the Canadian Ambassador to Mexico and top business leaders to discuss environmental and cleantech opportunities in Mexico.

“We are pleased to be the conduit between Canadian cleantech companies and DFAIT,” said Barry Penner, Q.C., counsel in Davis LLP’s Vancouver office and former Minister of Environment for British Columbia. “Our firm recognizes that Mexico is a growing market and, since we always strive to meet the needs of our clients and contacts, Davis LLP was pleased to provide this unique opportunity.”

H.E. Sara Hradecky, Canada’s Ambassador to Mexico, provided valuable insight into the Mexican market and the business prospects she sees in the cleantech sector. About a dozen business leaders from top Canadian companies had the opportunity to discuss current and planned projects in the area of biofuel, water management, and waste water treatment for mining.

The event provided an excellent forum for Canadian businesses to learn how to tap into this growing market, discover areas in Mexico that need environmental solutions, and how to access public funds for their projects.

Doing Business in Mexico

Anelize Aguiar, an associate in Davis LLP’s Vancouver office who has experience in international trade and investments in Latin America, cautioned business owners from moving too quickly.

“From a legal perspective and with my experience in Latin America, I would recommend that companies that want to invest in Mexico should do their homework, study the market, study the legislation, know what permits they need and the standards they need to follow,” said Aguiar, who is also qualified to practise law in Brazil. “They need to be patient because things take longer in Mexico and in Latin America (than in Canada). It is also helpful to know the language and have a representative there.”

Penner echoed the importance of having appropriate legal counsel.

“You need assistance in navigating the government regulators, and dealing with government-owned utilities and environmental companies.”

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