Mexico – The Capital of Mexico City hosted recently a high-profile roundtable meeting between the UAE and the Republic Mexico.

The UAE delegation was headed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, with H.E. Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali, UAE Ambassador to Mexico, in attendance.

Mexico, on the other hand, was represented by Francisco Gonzalez Diaz, CEO of ProMéxico, a trust fund of the Mexican Government that promotes international trade and investment, and Maria Aegina Sezer, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The participants discussed ways to enhance economic and trade cooperation as well as the exchange of investments between the UAE and Mexico. They expressed their hopes and ambitions for further supporting bilateral ties in light of the great potential of both parties which they agreed will lead to even better relations and the opening of wider horizons for the benefit to the two countries and their peoples.

In his opening speech, H.E. Al Mansouri commended the strong economic ties binding the UAE and Mexico, noting their excellent trade and flow of investments, goods and services. He pointed out that non-oil trade between the two countries amounted to about USD 1.5 billion in 2015, while total trade volume between the two countries reaching USD 431.3 million during the first half 2016.

The Minister also noted that their countries have signed several agreements in the areas of aviation, the avoidance of double taxation on income, and the encouragement and protection of investments in air transport.

H.E. Al Mansouri explained that trade, logistics services, tourism, aviation, agriculture and food industries are major economic priorities for both countries.

He noted as well Mexico’s status as a key member of the Pacific Alliance, an economic bloc comprising Colombia, Peru and Chile which has had a highly positive impact on Latin America. The Minister emphasized the possibility of the Alliance forging an excellent and important partnership with the Middle East.

In terms of the UAE’s distinct fundamental strengths in the fields of business and investment, H.E. Al Mansoori referred to the exceptional support of the UAE’s wise leadership, a favorable regulatory environment for foreign companies, the UAE’s strategic geographical location, financial stability, tax exemptions, legislation and regulatory frameworks. He noted that these are highly supportive of all kinds of businesses, a multicultural and multinational workforce, and world-class infrastructure.

H.E. emphasized the UAE’s full commitment to boosting growth and development in the various fields that are related to or supportive of the pillars of UAE Vision 2021, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the knowledge-based economy, renewable energy, technology, the industrial sector, as well as major developmental initiatives such as Dubai Expo 2020, ‘smart cities,’ and the presence of about 40 highly productive free zones.

For his part, Francisco Gonzalez Diaz commended the UAE’s impressive progress in all levels, and its status as an important economic partner of Mexico in the region. He also noted that his country seeks to further strengthen its presence in the regional markets. Díaz further explained that the UAE is an outstanding trade and economic hub that provides access to the rest of the regional and Asian markets.

Diaz added that Mexico places great importance on investments in human capital, training, workforce development, and the provision of strategic competencies and modern technology. All these, he said make Mexico’s development vision compatible with the UAE’s efforts to transform itself to a knowledge economy and open the way to cooperation in this important developmental path.

Among the UAE representatives to the meeting were H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade; Ahmed Obaid Al Tunaiji, Deputy Director General of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development; H.E. Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (‘Shurooq’); H.E. Fahad Al Gergawi,  CEO of  Dubai Investment Development; H.E. Khalid bin Butti Al HajriDirector General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry(SCCI); H.E. Raghda Hamad Omran Trim, SCCI Board Member; H.E. Marwan Khamis Al Sheikh, Board Member of the Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi, Director of the Trade Promotion and Investment Department at the Ministry of Economy; Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, Deputy Director of Shurooq; Athra Mubarak Hdeoli Al Mansouri, Economic Affairs Specialist at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and various  delegates from companies and establishments such as Sharaf Group, Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal Est. and OnTime Group.

Panel sessions were also held parallel to the roundtable meetings between the representatives of UAE national companies and their counterparts from Mexico. Participants discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations between their countries’ business communities as well as major opportunities available from both sides. They focused on ways to enhance cooperation and economic ties in various areas of common interest.