Mexico City, 15 January, 2016


President Enrique Peña Nieto will made a working trip to the Arabian Peninsula from 17 to 21 January, which will include State visits to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. The aim is to promote the attraction of capital, boost growth, productivity and prosperity of Mexico, and publicize policies for the implementation of reforms in the economic, educational, cultural, energy and telecommunications fields.

The presidential entourage will be integrated by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Ruiz Massieu; the Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell; the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal; the Secretary of Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, and the Secretary of Communications and Transport, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, apart from other senior officials and a large delegation of Mexican businessmen.

At a press conference, Eduardo Sánchez Hernández, Coordinator of Social Communication and Spokesman of the Government of the Republic, said that Mexico comes itself as the country of new opportunities for global investment and this visit will enable promoting political relations, investments, tourism, the projection of Mexican culture and its values ​​as well as open new horizons in the energy sector.

In turn, the Chancellor Claudia Ruiz Massieu stressed that this visit will give an unprecedented boost in our relations with this important region; it will allow to multiply trade and productive investments, promote tourism, strengthen educational, scientific and technological cooperation, and project the Mexican culture in an area of ​​the world that is becoming increasingly important.

He explained that this is the first time a Mexican president visits the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, since the establishment of diplomatic relations with these countries in 1975. It will also be the first visit by a Mexican president to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in just over 40 years.

He said that the Persian Gulf countries have geostrategic importance and great economic potential and cooperation with Mexico, because they have concentrated important energy resources (65% of proven oil reserves and 40% of natural gas reserves, globally), plus having some of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.

For his part, the Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said that, in the context of the tour, the Energy Reform promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto, results in reinforcing the inclusion of Mexico in the global economy through the increased presence of foreign investment to generate jobs and an exchange of goods and services in the industry as: consultants, technology, finance, transparency and accountability practices, as well as the strengthening of academic and scientific relations and cooperation on clean energies.

He said that the four Gulf countries produce a third of the worldwide oil, totaling a production of 16.8 million barrels per day and have proven reserves that reach 491 billion barrels, and in addition to its traditional oil vocation, they make major investments to move towards the green energies.

He explained that the countries that comprise the tour of the Middle East have Sovereign Wealth Funds, which finance productive projects and infrastructure in several countries, which represents for Mexico an opportunity to attract investment in the new financial instruments that the Secretariat Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) has created, such as the FIBRA-E.

He stressed that business forums and roundtables for investors, representatives of investment funds and energy companies in the Persian Gulf, where Mexico will present energy projects and investment opportunities will be conducted. He explained that in Abu Dhabi, President Enrique Peña Nieto will be the keynote speaker for the Week of Sustainability "World Summit on the Future Energy", which is the most important event on renewable energies and efficiency of the entire Middle East, apart from being a platform for the exchange of ideas, projects and experiences, where participate exhibitors from over 50 countries and attend by more than 2000 investors and industry experts.

It also reported that in this Emirate, a working visit to the city of Masdar will take place, which is fully planned and built to be sustainable, plus it houses the largest Institute for Research in Renewable Energy in the region; while in Saudi Arabia a special event to promote investments in Mexico, under the International Energy Forum, which groups 74 member countries, representing about 90% of the supply and consumption of gas and oil in the world, will take place.

The Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said that the presidential trip to the Middle East aims to open new markets, attract investment and sign cooperation agreements to strengthen the relations with Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

He said that in the four nations will be held business forums to position the opportunities Mexico offers to entrepreneurs, in which new investment trends will be addressed. President Enrique Peña Nieto will take part in these forums.

He said that in Saudi Arabia a memorandum of technical cooperation on norms and standards to facilitate exports will be signed, while in the United Arab Emirates, an Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (BIT) will be signed.

He reported that, within the framework of the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Enrique Peña Nieto will meet with President of Switzerland, Johann Schneider-Ammann, and representatives of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to witness and testify the modernization and deepening of the free trade that Mexico has with its member countries.

The program of activities of the President of the Republic, includes meetings with their counterparts and with the highest authorities of the four countries. It stresses its participation in the International Energy Forum, based in Riyadh, and will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the World Summit on Future Energy in Abu Dhabi, considered one of the most important meetings on energy.

He also will visit the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Masdar Institute is the first graduate institution in the world dedicated to research on renewable energies and sustainability.

As part of every state visit, business forums will be held, which will help position Mexico in these markets, promote investment and increase trade.

52 instruments of economic, commercial, tourist, technical-scientific, educational and cultural cooperation, among which are the BIT with the United Arab Emirates and the Air Services Agreements with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be also signed. These instruments are crucial to complete the bilateral legal framework which aims to serve as a solid foundation for cooperation and to provide certainty to investors of both parties.

The presence of President Enrique Peña Nieto in these countries, will allow Mexico to be positioned in the Middle East market with high purchasing power, will promote our country as a reliable investment destination and will expand the bilateral cooperation with four major Arab economies.

Overall, the working visit of the President of Mexico to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar will contribute decisively to strengthen the dialogue at the highest level with the authorities of these countries; to position Mexico in new markets; to promote the country as a reliable destination for investments of various kinds, and strengthen the bilateral cooperation in all areas. Also, this tour will generate initiatives to consolidate Mexico as the gateway to the Gulf Arab countries in Latin America, and strengthen the macro aim to turn our country into a global player with responsibility and leadership.

After his visit to the Arabian Peninsula, the President will travel to Davos, Switzerland, from 20 to 23 January to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF). During his stay in Switzerland, the Mexican president will have bilateral meetings with various heads of state and world leaders.