• President Enrique Peña Nieto declared that the two countries share a vision of working towards focusing joint efforts on promoting mutual investment, which will contribute to job creation in both countries.

• With President Peña Nieto, I have had a very productive relationship in our bilateral relations: Benigno Aquino III.

• Mexican president pays state visit to the Philippines, the first by a Mexican president since 1962.

President Enrique Peña Nieto today highlighted the interest and willingness of the governments of Mexico and the Philippines to take relations between the two countries to a new stage that will benefit their populations.

In a press statement, issued after the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two countries, within the framework of his state visit to this Asian nation, the Mexican president stressed that, “The Philippines and Mexico are strong, stable dynamic countries with solid economies and great potential.”

President Peña Nieto declared that various agreements were implemented today to establish, “A Mexico-Philippines Action Plan, which will be the roadmap for deepening bilateral relations.” This renewed institutional framework, he said, “Will create new opportunities for collaboration and exchange.”

He hailed, “The work of President Benigno Aquino III, who, with great vision, has pushed an agenda of transformation and structural changes” in the same way as we have been doing in Mexico, "in order to meet the global challenge characterized by economic downturn, financial volatility and risk aversion.”

The Mexican president said that Mexico and the Philippines share a vision of, “Working towards strengthening our macroeconomic bases, in other words, what gives stability to the economy, allows us to project confidence outside and favors investments that keep coming to create jobs and prosperity for our societies.”

He said that this is the first state visit by a Mexican president to the Philippines for over half a century; the previous one being conducted in 1962.

He explained that today the two governments signed an agreement on economic matters, “To avoid double taxation and thus facilitate trade and financial transactions between the two nations.

Another agreement was signed on tourism to, “Consolidate further cooperation in areas such as research and development; education and training as well as promotional and investment programs.”

“In security, best practices and information were exchanged to jointly combat drug trafficking.

He announced that the governments of the Philippines and Mexico also agreed to, “Accelerate the completion of three major initiatives: the Air Services Agreement, dating from 1952, since this is an opportunity to update and modernize it. The Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, which will facilitate a greater flow of mutual investment between the two countries; and the creation of a Joint Economic Committee to define a roadmap to allow both governments to focus efforts on promoting mutual investment, contributing to job creation in our countries.”

President Peña Nieto wished the Philippine president success at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Meeting, “Which will begin tomorrow here in the Philippines.”

ECONOMIC AND COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY IN INVESTMENT HAS BEEN CEMENTED IN BOTH COUNTRIES: BENIGNO AQUINO III

For his part, President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III said that he has had "a very productive relationship regarding the process of our bilateral relations,” with President Peña Nieto.

He said that in the economic sphere, “We have cemented commercial and economic activity in investment between the two countries involved through the expansion of companies such as CEMEX, FEMSA and the Philippines’ IFTCI, both here and in Mexico.

“I encourage our Mexican brothers to seek further growth opportunities that the Philippines offers the world,” he said. He encouraged Mexican investors to regard the Philippines as a sister nation, a partner and an entry point to Southeast Asia.

He congratulated President Peña Nieto on “His presidency, based on transparency and open government, something we have witnessed from the outset as an example of transparency and openness.”

On his arrival in the Philippines, where, in addition to a state visit today, he will participate in the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, President Peña Nieto laid a wreath at the Monument to National Hero of this nation, José Rizal. He also received the Keys to the City of Manila from the Mayor of the capital, Joseph E. Estrada.

He also laid a floral wreath in honor of the heroes of Squadron 201 of the Mexican Air Force, who participated in World War II.

Afterwards he went to Malacañan Palace, where President Benigno Aquino III gave him an official welcome.

In the evening, the Mexican president attended the state dinner hosted in his honor by his Filipino counterpart.

There, President Peña Nieto said, “Mexico recognizes the Asia-Pacific region as an essential region in this 21st century, and the Philippines as a great ally of our country. With this state visit, we honor our past, celebrate our present coincidences and are committed to a better future for Filipinos and Mexicans.”

President Aquino III said that there are many similarities in the language, origin and history of our peoples, which should pave the way for continuing to build relations in the future that will benefit both countries in the areas in which we are already working.