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Air route to boost trade with Mexico

By Li Wenfang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-03 08:22

The planned new air route linking Guangzhou and Mexico City is anticipated to enhance trade and travel between South China and the Latin American country.

China Southern Airlines plans to launch the Guangzhou-Vancouver-Mexico City route in May, flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners three times a week, said the Guangzhou-based carrier.

Carlos Giralt, consul general of Mexico, who is based in Guangzhou, said: "It will boost exchanges of trade, commerce, people, tourism and many other cultural activities. I hope that we will see more people from Mexico visiting this region and more people from this region visiting Mexico."

"More Chinese will be able to look into Central and Southern America, with Mexico as a hub," he said. A route is currently available covering Shanghai, Tijuana and Mexico City.

More than 60,000 Mexican travelers visited China and 100,000 Chinese people traveled to Mexico in 2015, with 2016 seeing slightly higher figures, he said, adding some other Chinese airlines are working on new routes between the two countries.

The total trade between Guangdong province, an economic hub of China, and Mexico stood at $10.5 billion last year, including more than $8 billion exported from Guangdong. In this trade, Guangdong offers shoes, telephone, electronic products, machinery equipment and electric appliances.

Giralt said: "Trade between Mexico and Guangdong is far bigger than trade between Mexico and some important countries in Europe and South America."

The new route is set to meet the demand for connectivity between South China and Central America. With Mexico being a bridge between North and South America, it will promote the exchange and cooperation between Mexico and China, said Wang Xiaohui, manager of flight arrangement at China Southern.

For almost 10 years Mexican agricultural products have been available to the Chinese market and recently they have increased their penetration.

Mexican products currently available in China include avocados, nuts, raspberries, blackberries, abalone, lobster, beef and pork. The two countries are working on new agreements to bring more Mexican products such as dairy products-including baby formula-blueberries, bananas and mangoes to China.

There is a long learning curve for Mexican producers about the opportunities that China offers, in particular Guangdong province, Giralt said.

"The most important thing for the new flight for me is that it will open more direct opportunities to know about each other's regions. Mexico and China are on opposite sides of the world but we have a lot of things in common. We like food. We cherish our family, culture and tradition."

On China's transformation toward an innovation-based economy, Giralt said: "China is already on the right track to transform itself into a more sophisticated economy in terms of technology. This will benefit trade with Mexico."

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