Mexico and Latin America: education markets on the other side of the pond, definitely worth the effort

With support from the Department for International Trade, BESA is organising a trade mission to Mexico in the lead up to the international event Bett LatAm, in mid-October.

The trip promises to open up new opportunities for our members, who will be meeting with Mexican state and central governments. They will also receive a briefing on the education market in Latin America to understand each country’s specificities, including the differences in procurement.

Now in its fifth year, the Bett Latin America Summit and Expo (Bett LatAm) will explore the latest trends in education technology (EdTech) around the world, with a particular focus on the challenges and advancements for the American sub-continent. Over 2,000 senior education leaders from both Mexico and across the Latin American region are expected to attend.

Mexico alone represents a small giant in the international education market thanks to its 120 million inhabitants and high literacy and primary completion rates. Moreover, the country has been embracing digitisation and digital innovations – including EdTech – attracting tech engineers to Guadalajara, labelled “Mexico’s Silicon Valley”.

The Mexican states of Nuevo León, Mexico City and Puebla have made education a priority and are ready to invest in high-quality products and services for their schools.

To give our members the chance to capitalise on this, BESA has been working with the British Embassy in Mexico to put together a trade mission, during which UK companies will meet with the government of the states of Puebla and Mexico City.

UK educational suppliers are in a particularly advantageous position at the moment with the low pound. On top of that, the UK can benefit from the unstable US-Mexico trade relations – Mexico is looking to build stronger relations with other English-speaking countries, particularly when it comes to education.

Nevertheless, UK companies must be mindful of a few things when entering the Latin American education market. Most of all, they must ensure their products and services will be accepted by the local teachers and students.

Translating them into a non-accented Spanish is essential, as is taking into account the local context and history. However, Latin America is a vast territory, and products and services must be adapted to each of the 20 countries.

This requires access to local knowledge, and when it comes to getting this, nothing works better than finding a partner. A good local partner can quickly become instrumental to a UK educational supplier’s success in Latin America. It helps to have a partner that speaks the language, helps you figure out the culture and customs, understand the specificities of the market and master the local regulations.

Choosing the right partner is paramount because they can also help deliver training in schools on how to use the UK products and services.

If you are looking to start tapping into the Latin American market, contact me via email and we can guide you through devising your export strategy.