The Foreign Secretary spoke at the 5th Mexico – U.S. Leadership Initiative CEO Dialogue, saying that the best option for Mexico and the United States is to build bridges of progress instead of walls.

Addressing members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Foreign Secretary Ruiz Massieu said that "what we want and need from you is that we continue to strengthen this partnership in order to keep creating opportunities that highlight our integration, our bonds, and that we build bridges rather than walls along the border."

For Mexico, she said, the border is an area of ​​shared prosperity, a place of enormous wealth, talent and creativity, and we believe it should be an engine of competitiveness for the entire region.

During the meeting, she discussed the strength of the bilateral relationship in areas such as trade, investment, border infrastructure, energy, tourism and academic exchanges, and noted that a shared narrative is needed between authorities, the private sector and civil society in order to emphasize the positive aspects of the bilateral relationship.

"The amount of investment and trade that we have, the number of jobs that depend on the bilateral relationship, the growth and income that reflects the exchanges between our two nations is a message that must be replicated by the private sector, in coordination with the government," she said.

Regarding gender equality, the Foreign Secretary said, “the potential we have in women is immense. Therefore, this sector must become more integrated into the productive force in North America, to make it a more competitive and inclusive region."

Another important part of strengthening the region’s competitiveness is the impetus being given to educational exchanges and to training human capital, especially the important efforts of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESII).

Lastly, the Foreign Secretary announced that the Mexico – United States High Level Economic Dialogue would be held in February 2016 to review the progress made on projects for building a more efficient and competitive border. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will attend the meeting.

The 5th Mexico – U.S. Leadership Initiative CEO Dialogue was attended by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce; Gerardo Gutiérrez Candiani, President of the Business Coordinating Council; Miguel Basáñez, Ambassador of Mexico in the United States; John G. Rice, Vice Chairman of General Electric; and Armando Garza, Chairman of Alfa Group, among others.