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Mexico: Overseas Trade

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she plans to take to increase contacts and trade with Mexico. (141413)

The UK's relationship with Mexico has broadened and deepened over recent years and contacts have increased. We expect this to continue, not least through Mexico's participation in the G8 plus five outreach group.

We now hold annual high level talks and in 2007 will introduce annual economic talks at senior official level. Ministers and officials also hold many other meetings with their Mexican opposite numbers. In January, President Calderon visited the UK. His programme included meetings with my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and in addition key UK business leaders through a Confederation of British Industry event. During the visit my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa.

Most recently, my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, met Mexican Foreign Minister Espinosa on 20 April at the EU Rio ministerial meeting in Santo Domingo. In addition, officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs visited Mexico City in April to discuss UK/Mexico co-operation on sustainable development and climate change. We also liaise closely with the Mexicans over their role on the G8 plus five outreach group.

On the trade front, UK Trade and Investment's (UKTI) strategy ‘Prosperity in a Changing World’ has a particular focus on deepening our trade and economic relationship with emerging markets, and Mexico is identified as one such emerging market. As a result, UKTI's network in Mexico has been increased by five members of staff. Mexico has also been identified as a potential source of inward investment and has a new dedicated inward investment team based in Mexico City.