Monday, November 29, 2010
Foreign Office Minister's Message while in Mexico
As I arrive in Mexico on the 100th anniversary of the
revolution, it occurs to me that the word revolution refers not only to the overthrow of a government or regime, but also
to how an idea, or a vision, can revolutionize the way we look at the world. Just two weeks ago, William Hague, the
British Foreign Secretary, gave a speech in London outlining his vision to think afresh and re-engage with Latin America.
So the timing of my visit to Mexico is very apt. I am proud to be the first Foreign Office Minister to visit Mexico from our
new coalition government, and to make that vision of re-engagement a reality.
We recognize that our government has neglected Latin
America in recent years, and we are determined to put that right. We believe there are huge opportunities for political
cooperation and trade and investment, not only between the UK and Latin America, but also the UK and Mexico. And we
have put relationships with the emerging economies at the top of our priority list too. Our senior Ministers are coordinating
increased UK interaction with Mexico and other emerging economies, chaired by our Foreign Secretary. The relationship
between Britain and Mexico has never looked brighter.
Our governments share many values, and co-operate closely
on the international stage. We are firm partners on climate change, both of us aiming for progress at the summit in Cancun,
starting imminently. We work together in the G20, the most important forum for the world’s most important economies,
agreeing reform of the international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank. And we have combined forces
frequently on the UN Security Council, for almost the last two years, whilst Mexico has held one of the Latin American non-permanent
seats, dealing with some of the most difficult international problems, like the threat of nuclear proliferation and sending
urgent humanitarian aid following the Haiti earthquake.
Our two countries are great trading nations. The
UK trades extensively in almost every corner of the world; we are the fifth largest trading nation globally. Mexico
is the largest trading nation in Latin America, trading more than Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile combined. In
2008, Fresnillo became the first Mexico company to float on the London Stock Exchange. There are 350 British companies
operating in Mexico. In 2009 there was US $3.5 billion worth of trade between UK and Mexico. But we still do not
trade enough with each other. The UK makes up less than 1% of Mexico’s imports. We need to need to change
that, and urgently.
I will use this visit to Mexico to look for new economic
opportunities to increase the trade and investment between our two nations. I will speak to Mexican companies to encourage
investment in the UK, showcasing our innovation and creativity and show how the UK offers a gateway to Europe for Mexican
companies. When I return, I want to further raise the profile of Mexico and Latin America with British business, and
help British business access markets in the region. We need to tackle the misperceptions that exist on both sides, and lower
the regulatory barriers that prevent us from doing more together.
And it is really good to see that the exchanges we
have already with Mexico are in some other fields, such as football. We need many more Chicharitos! Every goal
he scores for Manchester United draws UK attention to Mexico, and draws Mexican attention to the UK. Each goal helps
address misperceptions and stereotypes on both sides. But not just in sport, we need to find more Chicaritos in education,
culture, business and music too. My government is committed to re-engaging with Mexico and Latin America across the
board. With increased linkages and co-operation, our future relationship is bright.
Jeremy Browne MP, Foreign Office Minister for Mexico and Latin America, UK; British Embassy Mexico City, 20 November 2010