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Secretary sees parallels between UAE and Mexico

Dubai: Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Antonio Meade, who visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Sunday, says he sees a number of parallels between his country and the UAE.

“We think in some ways [The Emirates] mirror that role that Mexico plays in its own region,” he said. “Mexico is second largest economy in Latin America, while the Emirates are the second largest economy on the peninsula. We see the role that Emirates play in bringing stability to the region that has great challenges. We see a country that is a leader is infrastructure and communication, science and technology, just as Mexico is in the process of transforming itself [and] also playing a relevant role in infrastructure, science and technology.”

The Mexican economy is the 10th largest in the world by purchasing power parity with a $1.748 trillion GPD, according to the World Bank. Non-oil exports from the UAE to Mexico in 2011 were valued at Dh33 billion, according to the UAE’s National Bureau of Statistics. Imports from Mexico stood at Dh1.76 trillion.

He noted that Mexico and the UAE have a number of factors in common, such as a dry climate, and that both would benefit from an exchange of technology on such issues as water management and food security.

Meade said he would like to see more investment from the UAE in Mexico, especially in infrastructure, but said there are also Mexican firms that would like to come to the emirates, such as cement company Cemex, one of the world’s largest building materials suppliers.

“Infrastructure would be a good match, but we would not just like to see the investment, but to see oncoming conversations on technology and the transfer of technology,” he said.

Over the last few years, Mexico has been transforming itself economically by making reforms in labour laws, communication, energy and anti-trust, Meade said, adding that his country has strong fundamentals from a macroeconomic perspective, including low debt to GDP levels, low inflation in according with expectations, low levels of unemployment and no imbalances in its economy.

Meade said that following his trip to the UAE, he would like to see more official exchanges between the governments that lead to solid results.

“We hope to continue talks — in parallel — and to try to get them to be at a high level, and try to exchange high level visits,” he said. “But we would like each of those visits to come with concrete results, the first of which would be like the signing of this reciprocal protection treaty.”

Also travelling with the secretary were the head of Mexico’s Export/Import Bank, the head of the country’s infrastructure fund and the head of its global promotion agency. Mexico has had diplomatic relation with the UAE since 1975 and opened an embassy in 2012.