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Mexico, China build 'increasingly successful' ties: top official

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-13 10:03

MEXICO CITY - Mexico and China have forged an "increasingly successful" relationship, Mexico's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos de Icaza Gonzalez said in an article published on Monday.

"The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto has succeeded in building a close relationship marked by results with the People's Republic of China," Icaza wrote in an editorial in the daily Excelsior headlined "Mexico and China: An increasingly successful strategic partnership."

Since the two countries agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Mexico in June 2013, "economic and tourism exchange, and scientific, educational and cultural cooperation have expanded, and high-level visits have intensified," Icaza stated.

The two nations have had "unprecedented political dialogue," which was further bolstered by a meeting Monday between Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu and Yang Jiechi, China's state councilor.

"China is today Mexico's second trade partner worldwide and the third destination globally for our exports," said the minister, noting trade exchange has gone from 300 million dollars in 2005 to 74.88 billion dollars in 2015.

"Mexico has consolidated its position as the leading Latin American supplier of vehicles and autoparts for the country (China), which is now the fourth destination for Mexican automotive exports," said Icaza.

"Emblematic Mexican products are increasingly popular in China," where Mexican beer sales nearly tripled from 2012 to 2015 and avocado sales grew twelve-fold from 2013 to 2015, while tequila exports surpassed half a million liters, according to the official.

Thanks to "the Mexico-China comprehensive strategic partnership, we have generated agreements that have allowed us to improve our access to the Chinese market," said Icaza.

Mexican dairy products, corn, beef and tobacco are currently exported to China, and negotiations are underway to add bananas and blueberries to the list.

The comprehensive strategic partnership, said Icaza, has also led to another "notable achievement," namely, the creation of a China-Mexico Binational Investment Fund.

The fund, he added, is set to "substantially increase the flow of productive investment in infrastructure, industry, tourism and energy," among other sectors.

"There are almost 1,000 Chinese-funded companies in Mexico ... participating, for example, in new hydroelectric and renewable energy projects of great importance to our country and venturing into new sectors, such as energy and automobiles," said Icaza.

"What's more, the Chinese market is increasingly more important for Mexico and (its) global companies," Icaza added, naming breadmaker Bimbo, cornflour and tortilla manufacturer Gruma, conglomerate Grupo Kuo, autoparts maker Metalsa, IT provider Softtek, aluminum autoparts producer Nemak and ceramic tile manufacturer Interceramic as firms that "are consolidating their presence in that Asian market."

"Our friendship has also been reflected" in a dynamic cultural exchange that has seen landmark Mexican exhibits travel to the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, said Icaza.

"We are similarly pleased by a significant increase in Chinese visitors," he said, citing tourism from China grew 30 percent from 2014 to 2015 to reach nearly 100,000 arrivals.

"But above all, we celebrate the degree of cooperation and maturity that our ties have reached, as we are partners in forums such as the United Nations, the G20 Group and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), where we have worked closely, with matching views, to defend and promote free trade, spur innovation and back the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among many other matters," concluded Icaza.

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