• Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Economy, and business leaders, reported the results.

In a joint press conference, the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, and business leaders took stock in the economic sphere of the recent tour of President Enrique Peña Nieto, to the Arabian Peninsula, which included state visits to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar; apart from Davos, Switzerland.

The Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo recalled that the last time a Mexican president was in the Arab world was 40 years ago, and only visiting two countries: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He added that this was the first time a Mexican president visited Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

He underlined that with these countries "we have an estimate trade by two billion dollars, which is mainly focused on automotive exports, some appliances and electronic products and also certainly, and importantly, on steel products, and those of the gas and oil industries."

“In this context”, he pursued, “the Secretary of Economy, in this accompaniment that makes the President of the Mexican Republic, placed some special emphasis on consolidating some cases of negotiation as the Agreements for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (BITs) which they help to give legal certainty to promote the investment in Mexico from the Arab funds that are very important; and also to the Mexican investors who are already emerging investment activities but now with presence in the Arab world”.

He also informed that within the framework of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, met with the President of Switzerland, Johann Schneider-Ammann, and with representatives of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, by its initials in English), to witness and attest to the modernization and deepening of free trade that Mexico has with its member countries; that is parallel to that soon will begin the modernization of the Agreement with the European Union.

Juan Pablo Castañón, President of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE, by its initials in Spanish), said that the tour of the four countries was particularly successful and opens up considerable potential for Mexico and its companies.

He added that "we returned to Mexico with some major prospects in areas such as energy and food, but also tourism, education and research, and culture"; plus the readiness of the local authorities to provide essential processes for entering their markets as the Halal food certification”.

"Likewise," he said, "opportunities for Mexican companies were opened during our visit so that they can be providers of products and services for the organization of the World Cup 2022 to be held in Qatar."

Manuel Herrera Vega, president of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States (CONCAMIN, by its initials in Spanish), said that the tour, from the perspective of the industry, "opens doors to strengthen ties with these countries and increase trade and explore opportunities for the national production."

He stressed that "it was a very successful tour; we have open doors and from the industrial sector we will capitalize it."

Benjamin Grayeb, President of the National Agricultural Council (CNA), explained the times the sector will work to export products to the region.

He explained that in the short term, all kinds of canned, canned fruits, dairy preparations are already being sent; everything that´s being processed except meat. “In the medium term”, he said, “will include all perishable fruits, vegetables and legumes”.

In the long term, according to the Halal certification which establishes requirements mainly in sacrifice of live animals; meat of sheep, cattle and poultry are included. “In this regard”, he indicated, “we have already started working with the Secretariat of Economy, ProMéxico and the CNA in order to make this happen as soon as possible”.

"Really," he pointed out, "as we are with this certification we can send frozen meat, and that is going to become a very important market."

Jesús Flores Ayala, Institutional Director of both the Affairs of Tenaris-Tamsa International Trade and of the National Chamber of the Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO, by its initials in Spanish),said that a contract of export of sophisticated pipe for gas fields and tubing for the oil industry (in Kuwait) was sucessfully close. "The value of this operation covers at the earliest two years, 2016 and 2017, and is worth over 150 million dollars."

Juan Gallardo Thurlow, from the Cultiba Organization, said that some previous work had been done with the countries visited and were also identified areas with many resources and opportunities; given some follow-up was an element of enormous importance.

He was confident that "we will be able to build a team that will really give a precise follow up to the negotiations, which is the commitment of both the private and the public sectors".