Mariachi band

It is not day by day you see a Mariachi band wearing full regalia at an Alpine ski lodge.

However Mexico Night time at Davos isn’t any strange occasion. A night of tapas and tequila – this annual affair is organised by the federal government’s worldwide commerce physique, ProMexico, to advertise the nation’s enterprise pursuits on the World Financial Discussion board, and schmooze potential traders to the sound of “Besame Mucho”.

The guacamole is pretty much as good as any you’d discover on a Mexico Metropolis taco truck, and the margaritas are as laborious to withstand as ever.

But that is no strange 12 months.

The hospitality and get together ambiance belies a extra hostile actuality for Mexico, whose most vital neighbour, the US, has simply elected a person who promised to intestine Nafta, the North American commerce deal that has led to an unprecedented financial growth in Mexico.

Now, greater than ever, Mexico wants new buddies.

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Getty Photos

Picture caption

Tequila is one in all Mexico’s greatest exports

Main the allure offensive is Francisco N Gonzalez Diaz, ProMexico’s moustachioed director basic – the person tasked with promoting Mexico to the world.

He flits across the room posing with dignitaries, and engages briefly however important-looking “bilaterals” (as they name them in Davos), with financiers in corners of the room.

“We’ve got excellent buddies, and you do not have to construct new buddies,” he tells me, however provides, diplomatically: “You must recuperate a few of these… they don’t seem to be misplaced… they’re solely [furnished] with unhealthy data.”

‘No-one misplaced’

Is he referring to the elephant within the room, President-elect Donald Trump?

“I am referring to those that do not consider in globalisation, who do not consider in commerce, who do not consider in mutual funding,” he proffers.

That type of measured language is frequent amongst Mexican enterprise leaders attending this 12 months’s WEF, with many preferring to attend till the brand new US administration takes workplace to fireside their first pictures.

Most would solely communicate to the BBC off the file, and are anxious about the way forward for their commerce relationships.

However all dismiss the concept whereas Mexico has profited from globalisation, it has come on the expense of others, corresponding to staff at US automobile factories.

“No-one misplaced,” says Mr Gonzalez Diaz.

“The world has improved in all areas, and this implies generally somebody can run quicker, however the thought is that everyone is gaining on this new globalisation sport.”

That “G” phrase has definitely seen some criticism at Davos this 12 months, most not too long ago in a speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

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AFP

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Ford not too long ago cancelled plans to construct a brand new plant in Mexico

However Mr Gonzalez Diaz leaves Davos an inspired man

“So many buddies have been speaking in regards to the want and the chances to encourage Mexico,” he says, “to confront these guys who do not consider in globalisation.”

He cites Chinese language President Xi Jinping, who emerged because the unlikely champion of free commerce in his keynote speech at WEF, but in addition mentions BMW, Toyota and others.

“They mentioned: ‘We consider in you, we consider in world markets, we consider in internationalisation, we’re right here with you.'”

Digital screens across the Mexico Night time get together showcase a few of the nation’s most recognisable world exports, corresponding to Don Julio tequila, and Mr Gonzalez Diaz talks up the alternatives in different sectors, corresponding to pc video games, that are more and more both developed or translated in Mexico for the rising Hispanic market.

Exports

However in fact, because the “Mexico in your pocket” handbook laid out on tables makes clear, one of many nation’s chief exports remains to be automobiles and auto elements, and the US is their chief vacation spot, by a rustic mile.

Exports to the US totalled $308bn (£250bn) in 2015, in comparison with $10bn with Mexico’s subsequent greatest buying and selling companion, Canada.

If the worst occurs, and Donald Trump does impose tariffs on automobiles coming over America’s southern border, can Mexico climate the storm?

“We [may by then] have developed a free commerce settlement with China,” says Mr Gonzalez Diaz, earlier than sounding a warning: “However bear in mind, the worst is de facto the worst for the world, not just for Mexico.

“We’ve got sufficient companions.”

But he provides, tellingly, “and we’re creating new ones”.