Various agreements were signed to expand cooperation in the academic, scientific and technological, health and research fields, which will make it possible to “intensify and revitalize the relationship between France and Mexico”.

The agreements signed open up new opportunities for students from both countries. Among the main Mexican institutions that renewed their ties of cooperation with other French agencies are the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National Council for Science and Technology, the Metropolitan Autonomous University, the Health Secretariat, the Mexican Social Security Institute, the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education and the Miguel Alemán Foundation.

At the start of the activities in his state visit to France, the president noted that through the signing of these documents, “We are approaching different players in different spheres of social, academic, economic and research activities so that in this new moment of the relationship between our countries, this approach will enable us to share experiences, and harness the successful experiences that can be shared between our countries.

He said that this state visit is historic, “Because it is the first time Mexico has been a guest of honor on France’s National Day, which undoubtedly reflects the new moment of the relationship between the two countries,” he said.

He expressed his aim that, “This century will be an opportunity for this fraternal, close relationship between France and Mexico to enable these joint efforts to boost the development of our societies.”

During the event, held at the House of Latin America, President Peña Nieto said that the development and future of our societies, “Will largely depend on what we sow in our youth, so that they have the skills and capacities needed to cope with the global challenges of the 21st century”.

He stated that one of the most important aspects of the relationship between France and Mexico is the large number of French students who choose to study in our country, and the fact that France is the third most important destination for Mexican students after the United States and Spain.

He said that France and Mexico, “Are now united by science, research and everything that allows us to generate higher value, production and competitiveness in our countries, and ensure that this really translates into conditions of prosperity and development for our societies.”

He added that the agreements signed today show that in the area of medicine, Mexico and France “Are also sharing efforts, which will allow us to have greater capacities in our country and better training for our medical staff involved in this space that France is now opening up to us so that we can really improve the health care we provide for Mexicans.”

“This is just part of the many agreements that have been signed here, which show, with absolute transparency and openness, this renovated space in the relationship between France and Mexico, this relationship promoted by President François Hollande and the Mexican Government to assure you that in this new moment of this relationship between our nations, we have shared efforts in various fields so that our societies will be able to achieve greater conditions of development, prosperity and welfare,” he said.

During the event, President Peña Nieto received the Grand Medal of the Sorbonne. This distinction was conferred on him by the Dean of the Academy of Paris, François Weil, in recognition of the Mexican government’s commitment to strengthening the alliance between Mexican and Parisian universities.
This is an award that Parisian universities confer on Heads of State in recognition of their action in the service of education. President Enrique Peña Nieto became the first Mexican president to receive this distinction.


François Weil, dean of the Academy of Paris, said that the agreements signed today between universities and research organizations in France and Mexico “represent the vitality of the scientific and academic cooperation between the two countries and will contribute to further strengthening our ties of friendship and work that have already been highly developed for many years, and which encompass every sphere of research and development.”

He said that France is the third largest destination for university studies for Mexican youth: “Every year, over 2,500 students are welcomed in France while Mexico annually receives 1,500 students in France”.

Mexican Health Secretary Mercedes Juan López said that among the agreements signed today, the Sanofi Pasteur company signed a Declaration of Intent with the Secretariat of Health, “For the creation of a self-financing public-private partnership with Mexico’s Laboratories of Biologicals and Reagents, better known as Birmex, in order to complete and operate a plant in Cuautitlán for the production of the quadrivalent influenza vaccine, and also for the construction of a plant for producing the pediatric pentavalent or hexavalent vaccine.”

Thus, she said, “We will be able to ensure that Mexico has the capacity to manufacture an influenza vaccine, not only to ensure domestic supply, but also to position our country as a regional leader in vaccine production and promote their exportation.”

“Through these actions, we are taking another step towards the expansion of international cooperation in health that places our country at the forefront in the field of public health, for the good of the people of our country and France,” she declared.

For his part, Director of the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico Enrique Cabrero Mendoza said that in the past few days, “The Second Franco Mexican Forum of Science and Innovation was held in France. This forum was attended by over 250 people, all top-level scientists, officials and businessmen from both countries.”

He stressed that the Forum fully met its overall objective, “Which was precisely to identify new opportunities for collaboration in the field of science, technology and innovation, as well as to monitor the actions identified in the first Forum held in June 2013 in Mexico, corroborated last year by President François Hollande’s visit to our country.

Jaime Valls, Executive Secretary General of the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES), said there are over 500 agreements between French and Mexican institutions, 48 dual-degree programs and intense, broad-ranging scientific activity, with over 200 current research projects and an annual output of 600 joint scientific publications.

“At ANUIES, we have been promoting an extremely active agenda of internationalization because, as stipulated in our work program, Mexican higher education should incorporate an international, global and intercultural dimension into its purposes, functions and structures, to enable it to be more competitive and universal,” he said.

Permanent Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, Catherine Brechignac, said that “Mexico has been a key reference in scientific history since ancient times: In astronomy, the Maya created spectacular calendars, while Maya mathematics had extremely useful calculation methods.”

She said that the agreements signed today, “Are intended to materialize what we are doing on a regular basis”.

“Your address today, Mr. President, its symbolic message, the fact that you have expressed your interest in science, impacts our scientific community and we are grateful to you for this,” she said.