Recently, on his working visit to Brussels, Belgium, the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, met with Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Trade of the European Commission to advance on the preparations for the modernization of the commercial part of the Global Agreement between Mexico and the European Union and defining the vision, the grade of ambition and the scope that such a process should take.
It is estimated that in the framework of the visit of President Enrique Peña Nieto to the Mexico Summit - European Union, in the Belgian capital, on 12 June, it could be announced the completion of the study "Joint Vision”; which the European Commission requires to continue with its internal procedures and then get the mandate to negotiate with Mexico.
The Secretary Guajardo Villarreal and the Commissioner Malmström agreed that Mexico and the EU are strategic partners, linked by a free trade agreement that has allowed the development of trade and investment relations and job creation on both sides. Nevertheless, even when under the Treaty have been removed the tariff barriers, other non-tariff restrictions should be addressed.
Fifteen years from the entry into force of the Agreement that currently governs the business relationship, it is necessary to adapt it to the new international economic reality. The modernization of this trade agreement should make it comparable with the new treaties negotiated by both Mexico and the European Union. Given the importance of the relations with Mexico, the Commissioner indicated that she will ask for the negotiating mandate so the European Commission could start negotiations with Mexico starting the last quarter of 2015.
The Secretary Guajardo Villarreal also participated in the event "Upgrading the EU-Mexico FTA", organized by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) on the occasion of the presentation of the study "Evaluation of the effects of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Mexico on bilateral trade and investment", prepared by the bank itself.
During his visit, the Secretary also held meetings with EU Parliament Members, some of which are part of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament (INTA) and the Joint Parliamentary Committee Mexico-Union Europe, with whom he tried, among other topics, the modernization the commercial part of the Global Agreement between Mexico and the European Union and the celebration of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) - European Union. In addition, he met with European impresarios of the financial, aerospace, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure sectors.
The European Union is the third largest trading partner of Mexico, and among the Latin American countries, is the second largest trading partner. During the past 15 years, the trade exchanges with that block were multiplied by 3.5, reaching US $64,950 million in 2014. Similarly, the European Union is the second largest source of foreign direct investment in Mexico, having accumulated investments of $ US 149,146 million since 1999; this amount is 38% of the total received by Mexico since then.