By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Being important actors in the South Caucasus and North America, Azerbaijan and Mexico have become significant centers of trade, transit, and energy.
Despite the geographical remoteness of the countries from each other, this does not impede bilateral cooperation. The two countries have a wide range of opportunities for cooperation in many sectors of the economy.
Exchange of views and experiences, mutual visits and strengthening the legal framework are in focus of the development of bilateral relations.
Rodrigo Labardini, the Ambassador of Mexico to Azerbaijan, met with the Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev on September 10. The sides discussed the current state of bilateral trade, as well as the prospects for its development.
Mustafayev spoke of the functions of the ministry, as well as the latest achievements of the national economy. In this context, he stressed that reforms are carried out in various areas of the economy to achieve diversification.
In turn, Labardini presented a broad overview of Mexico’s economy and its current role in the global environment. He said that Mexico is an open economy that guarantees access to international markets through its network of free trade agreements.
He further noted that the country offers competitive costs and a strategic geographical position. In 2018, the Mexican economy received a flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) of approximately $31.6 billion.
In commercial matters, Mexico represents an important export platform with 12 free trade agreements with 46 countries, which represent more than 60 percent of world GDP. In 2018 alone, Mexico exported a record $450.5 billion, while its imports accumulated $464.2 billion, Labardini noted.
The parties also discussed bilateral trade ties. Labardini emphasized that bilateral trade reached a record $26 million in 2018 and expressed his hope that this figure will increase even more soon.
The sides agreed on the importance of broadening the prospects for cooperation, the need to hold business forums and strengthen business ties.
In 2018, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Mexico amounted to $26.2 million, which is a 35.74 percent increase compared to 2017. About 40 percent of the trade accounted for oil products.
Mexico plans to organize export of various types of products to Azerbaijan, in particular, to supermarkets of Mexican products in Baku.
In addition, Mexico intends to increase the number of trade delegations to Azerbaijan to expand trade relations between the countries. Previous Mexican trade delegations visited Azerbaijan in 2017 and 2018.
Mexico is particularly interested in increasing tequila exports to the Azerbaijani market. Every year, Mexico supplies 213.3 million liters of tequila to more than 120 countries.
Azerbaijan and Mexico strive to become transit, trade and energy centers in their regions. The countries have many opportunities for expanding cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Mexican Institute of Petroleum intends to establish exchange of experience and technologies with oil companies operating in Azerbaijan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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