Q. H.E. Mr Federico Salas, Diplomacy and Beyond Plus would like to extend a warm welcome to you. How has been your stay in India so far?
Thanks for your welcome and the opportunity to convey to your readers a message from Mexico to India. So far, my stay in India has been fruitful, pleasant and interesting. As you know, our peoples share many cultural affinities and values, our trade exchange has been growing during the last ten years and both countries are working to strengthen the bilateral relationship through the Foreign Office Consultations, Joint Commissions, the establishment of the Deans Forum in 2019, and we are looking forward to cooperate in key sectors such as innovation, where we share the vision to include technology with a social perspective.
It has been a pleasant stay due to the vast and vibrant local culture: just as Mexico, India is to be tasted through its flavours, seen by its incredible colours, admired for its amazing heritage, but above all because of its people. For now, India is my home away from home, and everyone has made me feel very much welcome.
Mexico has also become home to many Indians who currently work there or are married to a Mexican. We are bonded at all levels and our mutual exchanges will continue to rise in the long-term.
Q. Mexico is celebrating more than 200 years of independence. How did Mexico celebrate Independence Day amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Can you tell our readers about the highlights of the celebrations?
This year in Mexico we celebrated the 210th anniversary of the beginning of the war for independence. Due to health restrictions, in Mexico City the traditional celebration on the night of September 15th, what we call our “cry of independence”, was held with a reduced number of attendees and health security measures, such as face masks and physical distancing. The traditional military parade also had a reduced number of troops and attendees. Both events were broadcasted on social media and television.
In India, our Embassy organized a special musical dialogue and concert. We had the music of some well-known Mexican composers performed with Indian instruments such as the bansuri and tabla. Also, for Mexican and Indian children, we streamed a selection of short films. We did other events around the day, such as a Mexican food festival.
Q. What efforts are being taken to further strengthen bilateral ties with India?
In terms of trade, Mexico has become, for the first time, India’s main trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. While India is currently Mexico’s ninth trading partner. Despite the pandemic, we keep working to maintain the momentum of our economic partnership and we think we will succeed in strengthening our trade and investment bonds.
Regarding the education sector, on December 2, 2019, the first Mexico-India Dean Forum was held to foster ties between higher education institutions of both countries.
As for the cooperation, in science and technology fields we are working to promote a social perspective in technology and develop new approaches to development and prosperity for our communities. Also, we look forward to increasing Mexico’s presence in Asia, and bringing India closer to Latin America. It is necessary to give a greater political impulse to the relationship as complement to the trade achievements.
For all these reasons, Mexico will work to the prompt celebration of the VIII Joint Commission between the Foreign Affairs Ministers of both countries and hold parliamentary exchanges between our legislative chambers.
Q. Mexico has made great strides in electronics, automobiles, services, and communications. What makes Mexico a great destination for trade and investment?
There is no single or simple characteristic that defines the advantages for trading and investing in Mexico. The commonly observed factors such as population, size of the market, and financial stability just to mention a few, have an excellent combination: Mexico is the 11th biggest economy of the world; its public finances are healthy, and therefore its debt structure has been kept low-risk and consistent; 75% of its inhabitants is working age population; more than 50% of them are employed in manufacturing and services sectors, and we are actively narrowing gap between women and men.
In this regard, when looking at the possibility of businesses settling in Mexico, there are two key and unique features: the physical access to a wide variety of markets with ports on the Pacific and the Atlantic, and land connectivity with the two biggest economies in the continent. Yet, to really take advantage of the possibility to reach such a large number of consumers, Mexico has more agreements on free trade and investment than any other country.
It’s been over two decades since we have had a free trade agreement with our North American partners, the United States and Canada. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) not only confirms that the Mexican counterparts have fulfilled the expectations, but creates new possibilities to enhance the regional economic integration. The most recent announcements about producing new COVID-19 vaccines in Mexico witness how the economy factors are ready to face current and future challenges.