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Mexican President calls for stronger economic ties with UAE

posted on 20/01/2016: 1420 views

Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico, has called upon UAE investors to benefit from his country's lucrative business environment by establishing new economic partnerships between Mexican businesses and their UAE counterparts.

Speaking at the UAE-Mexico Business Forum organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Mexico Embassy in the UAE and ProMexico, a trust fund of the Mexican Government that promotes international trade and investment, on Tuesday, president Nieto said the Mexican government was keen to build on the long-time ties enjoyed by the two countries.

'The Government of Mexico is committed to enhancing co-operation between our business communities in every possible way,' he said, adding that this Forum, which was attended by over 100, is evidence of this commitment.

He pointed out at the investment opportunities for UAE companies in various sectors notably education, trade and industry, financial services and energy, in his country which has adopted major reforms adding that his country signed joint trade agreements with 11 countries and therefore the export to Mexico allows opportunities in about 46 different markets and access to 140 million consumers.

The Mexican president said his country is open to cooperation with the world, and geographic distances can be overcome because the world is interconnected, expressing his country's desire to open itself to the UAE, especially that the UAE is developed country and has a clear vision and strategy for the future.

On his country's economy, the Mexican President said that inflation last year reached to its lowest level for less than 2%, while 50% of the population are young, and 100,000 engineers graduate from Mexican universities annually.

Shedding light on the manufacturing sector in his country, he said that 85% of the country's exports are industrial products while the situation was different 30 years ago when oil accounted for more than 80% of Mexico's exports, noting that his country is one of the largest exporters of flat screen TVs, and the seventh largest producer of vehicles, while the aircraft industry recorded growth year after year.

He also said that Mexico and the UAE share a single vision for the future, and are keen to strengthen economic cooperation between them and are ready to benefit from each other's potential. The organisation of this Forum is a first step to overcome the distance and bring down barriers, and establish economic ties between the business communities in the two countries.

The strong Mexican business delegation headed by president Nieto, including Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican, Minister of Economy, Gerardo Ruiz, Minister of Communications and Transportation, was received by Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, in the presence of Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, and Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and senior Government officials and representatives of the Dubai's private sector companies.

In his welcome address, Al Ghurair said: "Our relation with Mexico is symbolic of the Chamber's strategy of reaching out to the promising markets of the world and the importance of the country as part of Latin America region.

"Mexico and the UAE established diplomatic relations four decades ago, in 1975. Our relations were further cemented with the first high profile UAE official delegation visit to Mexico headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in April 2014 when he met the Mexican President and discussed a number of economic issues with him," said Al Ghurair.

He added, "For years, Dubai has been working to build stronger ties with Mexico and we are committed to provide all the facilities to businesses from the two sides to establish strong partnerships as trade, tourism and construction are potential investment opportunities that Dubai businesses could explore, and use their experience in these areas to benefit from Mexico's strong growth potential."

Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Dubai Chamber, said that over the past few years Dubai-Mexico trade has increased considerably. Mexico currently ranks as Dubai's 44th largest trade partner globally.

"Between 2011 and 2014 our two-way trade rose from Dh 4.1 billion to Dh 5.8 billion. In the first nine months of 2015, bilateral trade reached Dh 3.8 billion, with machinery being the major import to Dubai from Mexico and base metals being the largest export. In fact in 2012, both the countries signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the aim to strengthen mutual economic and trade relations and to develop investments between our two countries.

"For Dubai, trade is the cornerstone of our economy. Aligning the needs of Dubai and Mexico through increased cooperation, will positively impact two-way trade and investment. Currently, we have 21 Mexican companies as members of Dubai Chamber and we hope to build on this number in the coming years," said Al Shirawi.

In his presentation on Dubai economy, Hamad Buamim said that the Dubai 2021 Plan constitutes a starting point for efforts that will strengthen the process of sustainable development in the emirate, saying that trade is the largest contributor to the GDP of Dubai, a sector which could be built on to improve trade relations with Mexico.

He added that the tourism sector is progressing towards achieving its goal of attracting 20 million tourists by 2020, pointing out that Dubai has attracted 11.7 million tourists during January-October 2015 with a growth of 8.4% compared to the same period in 2014, with a presence of more than 96,000 and hotel rooms and apartments.

The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber said that Dubai which is at the centre of East and West, the emirate's airports registered 71 million passengers until last November, and about 2.29 million tons of air cargo, and the launch of a direct flight between Dubai and Mexico will play a major role in promoting bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

Buamim said that Dubai Chamber will be exploring new markets for the business community in the coming months, after Africa, as the focus now is on Central Asia and Latin America which are target markets for the Chamber, therefore the Mexican market is of interest to the business community in Dubai and this Business Forum is a step forward in that direction, he said.

On his part, Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico Minister of Economy, informed that the UAE has become a symbol of the new Middle East and is a perfect example of how an Islamic country can move forward without abandoning its culture and tradition.

He added that Mexico is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and is characterised by its industrial sectors including food processing as well as energy and agriculture, as 60% of Mexico's exports to the UAE are phones and vehicles, and has grown to an average annual rate of 13% during the past five years, while the UAE's exports to Mexico grew at an annual average of 24%, during the same period. Both Mexico and Dubai have common leading economic sectors like global trade, logistics and tourism.

Three memoranda of understanding were signed during the forum; one between the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology and two between Emirates Development Bank and Bancomext and Emirates NBD and Bancomext. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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