Today, the seminar "Results, challenges and opportunities of the Agreement for the Strengthening of the (EPA) Economic Partnership Agreement between Mexico and Japan" was held in Mexico City, under the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of that instrument.

The event was opened, on behalf of the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, by the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade of Mexico, Francisco de Rosenzweig Mendialdua; and the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Takashi Uto; the event was attended by officials from various agencies of both governments, as well as members of business and academic organizations of both countries.

During the seminar, it was noted that Japan is the second largest market for agri-food and seafood exports to Mexico, only behind the United States. In the decade of validity of the EPA, Mexico has become a leading supplier to Japan of products such as pork and beef; avocado and pumpkins; and blue fin tuna, among others. In fact, since 2004 (a year prior to the entry into force of the EPAs year), the Mexican sales to Japan, in this sector, have been multiplied by 2.5, with a record of 824 million dollars in the last year.

Regarding the industrial sector, it was highlighted the economic complementarity between the two countries, whose success story is the Mexican automotive industry, in which Japan provides key inputs and significant flows of investment, while Mexico provides human capital highly qualified and a territory that serves as a platform for global export.

It was also highlighted the importance of strengthening the bilateral cooperation, particularly the support for Small, Medium-sized Enterprises, in order to strengthen the industry of support in Mexico, strengthening the training of human resources and promote the transfer of technology.

The Undersecretary de Rosenzweig noted that the Government of the Republic, through the Secretariat of Economy (SE, by its initials in Spanish), will continue working to update the EPA, in order to deepen the trade liberalization and facilitation of trade with this Asian country. Similarly, he noted that at the eighth meeting of the Committee on Improving the Business Environment Mexico-Japan, to be held tomorrow this August 25, 2015, in Mexico City, fostering a favorable business environment for the use of the benefits of the EPA will be a must.

In the past 11 years, the trade between Mexico and Japan increased 71%, amounting to 20.153 million dollars in the past year, while the Mexican exports to the Japanese market doubled. The positive performance also concerns the field of investments. Thanks to the EPA, Japan has positioned itself as the largest investor of Asia in Mexico and the sixth, worldwide, with investments of over 7 billion dollars over the validity of the Agreement.