St. Mary's Law Journal


Rona R. Mears


The Article is intended to go beyond legal issues, to address core practical considerations in forging successful U.S.-Mexico joint ventures. Opportunities unmatched in Mexico’s history are now available for foreign investors and traders doing business in Mexico. This Article will begin by presenting a historical perspective on joint venturing in Mexico and then contrast it with an examination of current uses of joint ventures in Mexico. It will also highlight the traditional advantages of strategic business alliances. Following is a detailed review of structuring the Mexican joint venture. Finally, this Article identifies strategies for dealing with practical issues which arise in Mexican joint ventures. It examines common pitfalls and provides advice on how to avoid them by careful planning techniques. A brief discussion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its potential impact on Mexican joint ventures precedes the summary and conclusion of this Article.

Historically, foreign investors in Mexico used the joint venture to partner with Mexican businesses in an effort to comply with ownership restrictions on foreign investment. Those historic reasons, however, have nearly disappeared. Nevertheless, there are traditional advantages to the multinational joint venture which remain as valid now in Mexico as they have been elsewhere in the world for decades. Joint ventures require careful planning and partnering built on a strong relationship as well as careful operational and legal structuring. These fundamental principles make joint ventures in Mexico between foreign investors and Mexican partners an important business option. With the advent of NAFTA, further opening of the Mexican market will occur and continue to enhance opportunities for joint venturing in Mexico during the years ahead.


St. Mary's University School of Law