China, Mexico set to further promote trade ties

Updated: 2013-06-04 11:18


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MEXICO CITY - Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Mexico is a sign of deepening cooperation and indicates the two countries are eager to boost their economic and trade ties, officials and experts say.

Xi's three-day stay in Mexico starting later Tuesday will include his second meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in less than two months.

He will also meet parliament leaders, entrepreneurs and members of the Chinese community.

The two sides are expected to sign a series of economic and trade agreements and issue a joint statement on further development of bilateral ties.

China is Mexico's second-largest trading partner, while the latter is China's second-largest in Latin America. Two-way trade jumped from about $5 billion in 2003 to more than $36 billion in 2012.

In a written interview with Mexican media before his three-nation Latin American tour, Xi said China was ready to work with Mexico to expand and optimize bilateral trade, raising the possibility of starting negotiations on a bilateral free trade deal.

Officials and experts believe trade relations between China and Mexico are complementary rather than competitive, and the two countries should make more efforts to identify the complementarities in their economies.

In a trip to China in early April, four months after he took office, Pena Nieto met Xi in China's southern city of Sanya and the two leaders agreed to work together to enhance trust and achieve win-win cooperation.

During the visit, Pena Nieto announced the establishment of a government agency to handle trade issues with China.

"For Mexico, China represents an opportunity to increase its productive investment, and multiply and diversify its export capacity. China's economic dynamism, the size of its market and its high demand for goods turn China into an attractive market for Mexico," he said in an interview with Xinhua in April.

Ulises Granados, professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, said the new Mexican government attaches greater importance to the country's relations with China.

The two countries have huge potential for mutual investment, as the Mexican government vowed repeatedly to improve infrastructure to drive the country's overall development, he said.

Teofilo Torres Corzo, head of the Mexican Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee for the Asia-Pacific, said Mexico should strengthen cooperation with China, one of the world's most dynamic economies.

Corzo expected China to have a bigger role on the international stage and greater presence in international politics in the years to come and it "should be an opportunity for Mexico, and Mexicans are beginning to understand that we can benefit better from the second largest economy in the world."

He said China represents a potential market with a growing middle class and increasing demand for new products in which Mexico has export interest.

"The mutually beneficial China-Mexico relationship will become closer with joint efforts of the two governments," Corzo said.



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