Mexican manufacturers are the second-largest importers of U.S. packaging and processing machinery, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Import/Export Statistics for Sept. 2013. The report notes changes of 15.79% (increasing to $48 million) for processing equipment and 10.43% for packaging machinery (increasing to $115 million) since the same period in 2012.

“By the end of the third quarter 2013, Mexico was second only to Canada in imports of U.S. packaging and processing machinery,” says Enrique Guzman, director of the Latin America office of PMMI (, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the owner and producer of EXPO PACK México 2014 (Centro Banamex, Mexico City; June 17–20).

“We’re seeing similar enthusiasm for this year’s edition of EXPO PACK México,” Guzman says. “Exhibit space sales are 15% ahead of the same period in 2013, and the show as a whole is 90% sold.”

PMMI expects 29,000 buyers from throughout the region to attend EXPO PACK México, ready to purchase the latest packaging and processing machinery and materials solutions.

“Consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) are speaking up and investing in Mexico. For example, in late January, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Nestlé and PepsiCo announced plans for expansion in Mexico over the next five years— PepsiCo plans to invest $5 billion and Nestlé plans to spend $1 billion,” Guzman notes.

Nestlé media releases call its plans to build an infant nutrition plant in Ocotlán, Jalisco, and a pet food plant in Silao, Guanajuato, “a striking example of the company’s commitment to Mexico.” PepsiCo also has a long history in Mexico, which is considered one of the most attractive — and fastest-moving — markets in Latin America.

“Mexico’s middle class is expanding,” Guzman says. “And its economy is forecast to grow at 3.4% this year, making it the fastest-growing among the largest economies in North and South America.”

In addition, Cisco Systems Inc. has announced a $1.3 billion investment in Mexico in 2014 —generating more than 900 jobs. PepsiCo’s plan is expected to generate 4,000 new jobs, and Nestlé anticipates 700 direct jobs as a result of their new Mexican plants.

 “Considering what we know about the export/import data, and the news from Cisco, Nestlé and PepsiCo, I’m not surprised to see exhibitors buying up so much booth space at EXPO PACK México 2014,” Guzman says. “You have to be where your customers are, and if you’re a packaging or processing equipment manufacturer and want to sell in Mexico, you have to be at EXPO PACK México.”

But, he emphasizes, it’s time to act.

 “Now’s the time to commit. There’s not much exhibit space available, and we’re down to just one booth remaining in each of the very popular Food Processing Pavilion and the Pharmaceutical Pavilion. The PMMI Pavilion is nearly full, too,” he says.