Mexican Ambassador to China José Luis Bernal Rodriguez Photo: Li Hao/GT
As Mexico and China celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations and enter into the fifth year of the implementation of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, we can certainly attest to unprecedented progress registered in every field of our bilateral relationship.
In the political arena, the personal rapport and frequent encounters between our two leaders demonstrate that dialogue at the highest level is key to giving additional impetus to economic and social exchanges. As a result, we have witnessed the strengthening of the institutional framework giving support to our cooperation, namely the Binational Commission, three High Level Groups dealing with Economic, Investment and Business matters, and specific dialogue mechanisms on political, strategic and multilateral matters.
This dynamism stems from the upgrading of bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2013. Since then, we have adopted over 40 instruments of cooperation, agreements and action programs in different fields.
Within this framework, the economic agenda has seen remarkable growth, opening a new era of exchanges.
Last year, our trade exchanges reached $75 billion, making China Mexico's second trading partner in the world. At the same time, Mexico has remained the top trading partner for China in Latin America.
Our two presidents have reiterated that the expansion of new reciprocal investments is a top priority. Chinese companies have steadily increased their presence in Mexico, benefiting widely from the Mexican market's size, strategic location and structural transformation. Today, China is the fourth largest Asian investor in Mexico, with Chinese firms taking part in numerous projects in energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing trade and services. Similarly, important Mexican companies have placed their trust in the Chinese market, confident that a mutually beneficial relationship can be developed among partners To foster these trends, decisive supportive actions have been taken by our two governments, including the establishment of a Binational Investment Fund and the licensing of China's financial institutions in the Mexican market.
People-to-people exchanges are also on the rise, through tourism, cultural promotion and educational exchanges. With more than 3,000 years of history, hospitable people, top-notch culture, rich gastronomy and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Mexico has positioned itself as the eighth most visited country in the world. Last year, around 123,000 Chinese tourists visited Mexico, becoming the preferred destination for Chinese visitors in Latin America, a trend that has been boosted by the establishment of new flights between both countries.
Culture is an important bridge for bringing the peoples of China and Mexico together. The most prominent museums in China have hosted high-profile Mexican exhibitions enjoyed by thousands of visitors. We will continue promoting the richness and diversity of Mexican culture with different expressions.
On educational exchanges, more than 400 students from both countries undertake studies in Bachelors and Postgraduate programs, language and culture. Also, in March 2017, the Second Forum of Chinese-Mexican University Presidents took place in Beijing.
Cooperation is another part of the bilateral agenda, with very positive results. We are collaborating to enrich our portfolio of projects in innovative fields such as clean energies, biotechnology, aerospace engineering and health, so both countries can exchange experiences and develop research projects.
In addition, the Mexican and Chinese governments share common positions on matters in the United Nations system, G20, APEC and other fora, particularly regarding the Development Agenda 2030, the fight against climate change and the reforms to global governance in different international organizations.
Thanks to these efforts, Mexico-China diplomatic relations are robust with tangible achievements in every sector of our shared agenda. Both governments will continue working together in close coordination to strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership by including new fields that will contribute to developing more opportunities for our business communities as well as fruitful people-to-people exchanges.