• .“Mexico will continue to pursue free trade, on the basis of two strategies: expanding into new markets and consolidating those where we are already present; and continuing to promote the competitiveness of North America”
  • Today Mexico is the leading exporter of medium and high technology manufacturing goods in Latin America, and the third largest of all the G20 countries.
  • Mexico's trade policy transcends circumstances. It involves a state policy that entrepreneurs and government have built up over three decades of advancing along the path of free trade and regional integration, he said.

As he led the closing ceremony of the 23rd Mexican Foreign Trade Congress, President Enrique Peña Nieto said today that,  “Being an active promoter and participant in foreign trade makes us freer as a society by allowing us to choose between different products and services that compete in quality and price.

Thanks to foreign trade, he added, “In the exercise of our freedom we can choose between different products rather than just having a single option”.

He said that, "Because our country competes on the same level as other economies and other companies, which in turn compete in our domestic market, we exercise our freedom to choose between different products and services”.

The president declared that, “Mexico will continue to pursue free trade through two strategies:

FIRST: Expanding into new markets and consolidating those where we already have a presence.

SECOND: Continuing to promote the competitiveness of North America.

He noted that Mexico wishes to strengthen its presence in all international markets with strategies clearly geared to each of the four cardinal points of the globe.

To the south, he said, “The Pacific Alliance, where we have already achieved an agreement to release 92 percent of the products traded between Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, which are economies with which we share values, but they are also strong and are growing”.

”We are also determined, with Brazil and Argentina, to expand the tariff preferences Mexico already has in those markets”, and although we have not signed free trade agreements with these countries, “We hope to reach agreements that will allow us to have a presence and preferential trade with those economies,” he said.

In the east, he added, “We are improving the access of Mexican products, especially agrifood, to the European market. Let us recall that we have already begun discussions to update Mexico’s Free Trade Agreement Mexico with the European Union,” and it is currently in the process of renovation and modernization, which will allow more Mexican products can have a presence in this important market.

He said that, to the west, Mexico’s global integration should undoubtedly consider the Asia-Pacific, “since it is the fastest-growing region in the world.” He said that, “Whereas growth in the European Union as a whole and on average, barely totals 1.7 percent, in the past five years, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have grown by nearly 5 percent”.

The president added that Mexico joined, “The commercial negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)”. Beyond the concrete results of the TPP, currently undergoing a period of uncertainty, “What we must seize, without a doubt, is the basis of negotiation that has already been achieved, so that Mexico can achieve bilateral trade agreements and be successfully integrated into the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

He declared that Mexico will continue promoting the competitiveness of North America. During the first four years of this administration, we established the High Level Economic Dialogue with the United States, with the aim of reducing transaction costs. We have done so through trade facilitation at the border, infrastructure development, a  competitive energy market, and efficient cross-border transport,” he explained.

The president added that, “In the new stage of relations between the two countries, we are clear about the issues and Mexico’s interests. Accordingly, we will seek spaces to improve and modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement on the basis of a win-win strategy”:

"This Free Trade Agreement and the modernization required by an agreement that is already more than 20 years old must allow its member countries, Mexico, the United States and Canada, to have advantages and be winners in an agreement that allows us to increase the competitiveness and productivity of the whole of North America,” he said.

President Peña Nieto stressed that Mexico is now, “The biggest exporter of medium and high technology manufactured goods, as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product in Latin America, and the third among the more developed countries, known as the Group of 20, just behind South Korea and Germany”.

TWO AND A HALF MILLION NEW JOBS CREATED DURING THIS ADMINISTRATION

The president added that during administration, over two and a half million formal jobs have been created by companies, "The highest figure on record in any other Administration at this point, or even during an entire six-year period of government”.

He mentioned another indicator concerning the quality of employment: "According to the World Economic Forum, which establishes indicators worldwide and measures the economies of more than 190 countries, Mexico climbed 16 places on the labor market efficiency scale. In other words, our labor market is becoming more efficient, productive and flexible. It is enabling us to have a much more competitive job market, which explains this progress in just two of the four years of this administration, and the fact that we have moved up 16 places on the World Economic Forum scale”.

The president thanked the National Minimum Wage Commission for increasing the minimum wage to 80.04 pesos a day. “This means a real recovery in the purchasing power of the minimum wage” and “is the only advance on record since 1976, after which the minimum wage unfortunately began to lose its purchasing power. “For the first time in these four years, after 40 years, the value of the minimum salary has recovered by 15 per cent,” he explained.

President Peña Nieto also expressed his gratitude for the work done by the Bank of Mexico, and its governor, Agustin Carstens. "This is the first time a Mexican, a person from an emerging economy such as ours, is to become General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, a key position for a Mexican who,  because of his professionalism, and his management of the Bank of Mexico, where he will continue until July  of next year, "has been appointed to this high position within the international financial world.

The president said Mexico's trade policy transcends circumstances. “It is a state policy that entrepreneurs and government have built up over three decades of advancing along the path of free trade and regional integration, he added.

"It will not be the first nor or the only time we have faced challenges and adversities we face, but I am sure that together, as we have done so far, we will continue moving forward,” he said.

To do this, he said, “We must work in unity, which is why I have called for national unity. Our history reminds us that when we have not been united, we have faced difficult times that have left deep scars in our society”.

On the contrary, he continued, "when we have been united beyond party differences or those we as a society, we have been able to prioritize national interest and work in unity to continue growing together and progress in unity. That will allow us to build a better nation, and above all, scenarios that provide opportunities for future generations. "

At the event, the President presented the National Export Award in 12 categories, to companies and institutions that have excelled in their foreign trade activities. He also toured the facilities of the Expo-COMCE, organized by the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade.

IN FOUR YEARS OF GOVERNMENT,  PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO HAS GIVEN MEXICO HAS THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOST FOR THE DIVERSIFICATION OF FOREIGN TRADE WE HAVE HAD IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: ILDEFONSO GUAJARDO

Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Economy, said that, “Over the past four years, the most difficult ones for foreign trade, Mexico has managed to maintain export growth above 2 percent, while Latin America’s export capacity as a whole, has experienced an 8 per cent drop”.

He added that , “The world as a whole has seen a 2 percent in its export capacity in these four years. These are data that set a benchmark, underlining the quality, competitiveness and strength of the country's export capacity.

He noted that the world is going through difficult times, and in response to the threats of protectionism and isolation, President Peña Nieto continues to trust in foreign trade. Accordingly, in four years of government, he has given Mexico, “The most important boost for trade diversification we have had in the 21st Century”.

Guajardo Villarreal said that in response to the challenge of relaunching a fundamental agreement in North America, the president has, “the loyalty and commitment of the Mexican business sector, which is always ready to participate with us in unity, for Mexico’s best interests”.

He said that after 23 years of North American integration, every effort must include a forward-looking vision, a 21st-century agreement, adding that in order to rebuild and re-project, “a better relationship, we need to ensure that this is a win-win story for all three nations involved”. That's the story, foreign trade is a win-win story,” he said.

THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ACHIEVED A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL MEXICANS AND FOR CONDUCTING BUSINESS: COMCE

Valentín Diez Morodo, President of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade (COMCE), thanked the president, “For his administration’s efforts to achieve the objectives of generating jobs and greater wealth in our country”.

He noted, “As an example, the Pact for Mexico, and the adoption of structural reforms, which are being implemented”. He explained that, “Your interest and the combination of various political forces in our country have managed to create a suitable environment for the coexistence of all Mexicans, and for conducting business in our territory”.

He said that during Congress, the attendees discussed the elements for achieving the healthy diversification of foreign trade, with particular reference to the opportunities offered by the various international markets with which Mexico has free trade agreements, which include, “46 countries through which we have preferential access to over 1.1 billion consumers”.

Diez Morodo said that by 2015, "Mexico was already the thirteenth largest exporter; while our gross domestic product makes us the fifteenth largest economy, and Mexico was the 16th preferred destination of international capital as regards direct foreign investment”.

“We are aware,” he said, “that we can improve our position in these aspects” through the strength of the country’s main economic variables of the country, “including controllable external debt, low interest rates, reduced public deficit and reserves that have become the highest in history and constitute a very solid basis for achieving this”.

The most precious thing in this country is its people, its HUMAN CAPITAL: GOVERNOR OF GUANAJUATO

Miguel Márquez Márquez, Governor of Guanajuato, said that, “Medium-sized enterprises are now also able to compete and are also capable of showing the world that there is quality. They are also capable of telling the world that they make products that are worthy of any client”.

"We have the capacity, the intelligence, the will, a very important logistic location, the infrastructure; but above all, we have market niches that are favorable to each and every one of you,” declared the governor.

"This country’s most valuable asset is its people, its human capital; therein lies its talent, creativity and innovation,” he said.