· Mexico is reinforcing its strengths by achieving proper implementation of structural changes, opening itself up to the world and encouraging investors to visit, he said.

· It has economic stability and a strong, sound financial system, he said.

· Let Qatari and Mexican businessmen unite to undertake partnerships and joint projects to benefit the economies of both countries: President of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

At the close of the Mexico-Qatar Business Forum, President, Enrique Peña Nieto said that the agreements signed during the State Visit to the Arab nation are designed to modernize the regulatory framework signed between the two countries to enhance, stimulate and lend greater vitality to relations between Qatar and Mexico.

In the presence of President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Qatari Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani; Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada; and Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Business Association, the Mexican president invited Qatari businessmen to visit our country and discover the investment opportunities it offers.

Mexico, he said, is undergoing a process of transformation. It is growing and “has now become an engine of economic development in Latin America, as the second largest economy in the region after Brazil.”

 He said that Mexico is reinforcing its strengths by, “Achieving the proper implementation of structural changes, opening itself up to the world and encouraging investors to visit.”

During this historic first state visit by a Mexican President to Qatar, the president expressed his hope that, “This will not only lend a new impetus to the relationship of friendship and brotherhood between our nations, but above all, open more spaces for rapprochement and meetings between our entrepreneurs.”

He said that in the context of the relationship, “We built and established 40 years ago, I now think there is a great opportunity to lend it greater impetus; to accelerate and find greater opportunities for investment between businessmen from both countries, and for this to contribute to creating jobs and opportunities for our people.”

He also hoped that they will participate, “In the development of the infrastructure projects we are promoting in Mexico” and exploit the competitive advantages of the structural changes currently being implemented.

The Mexican president explained that sectors in Mexico that were previously closed to participation and private sector investment have now been opened, such as the telecommunications and energy sectors.

He explained that in the energy sector, Qatar is a country with enormous experience: many investments are a result of its productive capacities in this sector. It is also introducing innovations to shift to the generation of clean energy, “As we wish to do in Mexico.”

This sector is now open and determined to receive domestic and foreign investment that enhances this area of our economy in our country and there will be opportunities for those who wish to invest in Mexico," he said, after stating that the new framework of agreements between the two nations “Which we will be updating with His Excellency the Emir of Qatar, will provide scope for you to participate and invest.”

He said the purpose of having the presidents or chairmen of  the main business chambers of Mexico lead the business delegation that is part of this visit to the Arabian Peninsula is to visualize opportunities for small, medium and large companies so that they can have better relations, and leverage the advantages Qatar is projecting to the rest of the world.

He said that although the scenario for the global financial sector is currently complex, volatile and uncertain: “It is also true that these scenarios and this rapprochement provide us with the possibility of finding opportunities for our entrepreneurs, to bring our nations closer and enable them to take advantage of the opportunities both countries offer our entrepreneurs; and for this to serve as a platform and a means to further advance the development, prosperity and well-being of our societies.”

Highlighting the strengths and competitive advantages that distinguish Mexico in the world, such as its location as a link with North and Latin America, he said it is also a bridge with European countries, “With whom we have signed FTAs trade and also with the Asia-Pacific region.”

He said that as a result of this condition, our country has promoted its greatest strengths:  “We have economic stability, a robust, solid financial system; we have been achieving levels of economic growth over the past five years of an average of 3.3 percent, which, although this is a long way from our growth potential, I am sure the global scenario will allow us to achieve higher levels of growth.”

These growth levels, he said, “Contrast with the scenarios of other countries in similar conditions in the region, with economic slowdown and negative growth, while Mexico is seeing positive growth.”

He added that this is a country with a predominantly young population with an average age of 27 years, which is in itself a great strength. “It gives us a demographic bonus, a competitive advantage and moreover, Mexico graduates 100,000 engineers and technologists every year.”

President Peña Nieto also highlighted the various free trade agreements Mexico has signed, “Giving us preferential access to a consumer market of over 1.15 billion people.” We are a country that has evolved as regards the development of its industry, which now generates  products with increasingly high added value,” he explained.

He recalled that in the past, in the 1980s, just 30 years ago, Mexico was a predominantly oil and commodity producing and exporting country, which accounted for 80 percent of exports. “Nowadays, the situation has been reversed. Today 89 percent of our exports are manufactured goods with high added value.”

He explained that in electrical products, televisions, flat screens, refrigerators and appliances, “We are among the world’s leading producers; we are the seventh largest automobile producer in the world and the fourth largest automobile producer.”

“This is how we have evolved, this is how we have achieved less dependency on our raw materials, particularly petroleum to generate an industry that now competes with the world and allows us to export our products to different countries,” he added.

The Mexican President stated: "On the basis of these strengths, we want to find opportunities to enhance and expand the level of trade we conduct with Qatar and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.”

He mentioned the strategic vision shared by Mexico and Qatar to adapt to global change and the global dynamics that today the world is experiencing; and, above all, to “promote new technologies, innovation, development and economic growth precisely by leveraging the opportunities provided by a global world.”

We are sure, he said, “That this apparent geographical distance between Mexico and this region of the world can be overcome if we get to know each other better, if we manage to make Mexico aware of this region which is experiencing growth and development, as we have seen, and we also widely commend the efforts Qatar has made to project itself at this level of development.”

SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS

Subsequently, President Peña Nieto visited the Palace of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, for the Welcome Ceremony at which the national anthems of the two countries were played and a bilateral meeting was held between the two dignitaries.

After the meeting, the Mexican president and Qatari Emir witnessed the signing of various instruments of cooperation and memoranda of understanding, listed below:

1. Letter of Intent between the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

2. Cultural and Artistic Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Mexico and the Government of Qatar.

3. Cooperation and Exchange of News Agreement between the Mexican State News Agency and the Qatari News Agency.

4. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Energy Sector between the Mexican Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Qatar.

5. Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Education between the Government of Mexico and the Government of Qatar.

6. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Physical Culture and Sports between the Mexican National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Qatar.

7. Memorandum of Understanding between ProMéxico and the Supreme Committee of Supply and Heritage for the Promotion of Mexican Companies Supplying Products and Services for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Earlier, during the Mexico-Qatar Business Forum, the following memoranda were signed:

1. Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Foreign Trade and Doha Bank.

2. Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Foreign Trade and Qatar National Bank.

3. Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Foreign Trade and Commercial Bank of Qatar.

WE HAVE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL IN BOTH COUNTRIES WE MUST LEVERAGE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR POPULATION: JEQUE KHALIFA BIN JASSIM BIN MOHAMMED AL THANI

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassem Bin Mohammed Al Thani, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Qatar, said that relations between the State of Qatar and Mexico are very special and have raised high expectations. “We have economic potential in both countries we must leverage for the benefit of our population,” he declared.

He said that the economy of both countries is growing continuously and creates potential business opportunities and advantages that will enable Mexican and Qatari entrepreneurs to expand cooperation.

He declared that the presence of President Peña Nieto is an incentive for Qataris to discover and explore Mexico, especially in the food and energy sectors.

Declaring that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes all Mexican businessmen, he said that there are sectors in the Qatari market that are open for them.  “Let businessmen in both countries unite to undertake partnerships and joint projects in Qatar or Mexico, to benefit the economies of both countries,” he said.