Angela Merkel aims to strengthen partnership with Mexico

President Enrique Peña Nieto in Berlin Angela Merkel aims to strengthen partnership with Mexico

Germany and Mexico intend to take their partnership to a new level and further develop economic cooperation between the two nations, said the Chancellor following talks with the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the Federal Chancellery.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

It was the first time Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had visited Berlin

Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

The two countries already cooperate closely in a number of areas, particularly in the economic and energy sectors, but also on human rights, said Chancellor Angela Merkel after her meeting with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto. A bi-national commission set up last year with the involvement of several federal ministries, will now also step up bilateral relations on a broad front, stressed Angela Merkel.

President Nieto praised the political will of the German government to push ahead with dialogue and cooperation between Germany and Mexico. He pointed to the leading role played by Germany. "Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel is an important political player in Europe and in the world," he said. Germany and Mexico share the same values, including democracy and free trade. "This is why our countries can continue to grow and develop for the good of our societies."

Fight against organised crime

During their meeting they also discussed internal security, organised crime and the organisation of police structures. "Because Germany, like Mexico, is a federal country, I have suggested that we share experience in these areas too," said Angela Merkel. This would include joint projects in conjunction with investigations conducted by the office of the public prosecutor and training for police officers to ensure an independent, well trained police force. These are areas in which Germany could be of assistance.

President Nieto stressed that Mexico, as a federal state with a system very similar to Germany’s, could benefit from an exchange with Germany. Within the framework of Mexico’s involvement in peace missions too, German assistance to train armed forces could be very important.

Stepping up economic cooperation

President Nieto also pointed to the special relationship between the two countries in the economic sector. "In recent years the investments made by German companies in our country have risen considerably, and today Germany is the EU state that invests most heavily in Mexico. German companies have created 120,000 jobs in our country," said President Nieto. At the same time, more and more Mexican companies are operating in Germany. He also pointed to various agreements and cooperation arrangements in the business sector that could help strengthen bilateral relations.

"In spite of falling oil prices and the enormous challenges facing its own oil industry, Mexico is not resorting to protectionism or trying to seal off its markets. It has professed its faith in free trade and is a good partner," said Angela Merkel, who had much praise for Mexico’s trade policy. That is why Germany will be working to modernise EU-Mexico trading relations on the basis of the existing agreement [Free Trade Agreement].

Talks with business representatives did, however, also make it clear that efforts to improve the security situation in Mexico, the fight against organised crime and the need to uphold human rights must be an intrinsic part of the continuing development of relations between the two countries.

Economic relations between Germany and Mexico are marked by growing German investment in Mexico. In 2015, bilateral trade was worth some 17.4 billion US dollars. Bilateral trade focuses on the chemical, pharmaceutical and electronics industries, and on the automotive sector. Germany is Mexico’s principal trading partner in the European Union.

Dual training system

In the field of vocational education and training too, Mexico would like to learn from Germany. "We have underlined the success story of the dual training system, which gives students and apprentices training; while they study and learn they also undertake practical training placements in industry. We would like to see this model, which works so well in Germany, provide a new impetus in Mexico too, in order to improve the quality of education and training," stressed President Nieto.

Mexico Year in Germany

During the President’s visit, a joint statement was released regarding the Germany Year in Mexico and the Mexico Year in Germany.

Yesterday, President Nieto officially launched the Mexico Year in Germany with Federal President Joachim Gauck. The two heads of state opened the exhibition "The Maya – Language of Beauty" in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. President Nieto stressed, "This two-way year is an exceptional opportunity for Germany and Mexico to get to know one another better and to come closer. The agreements and activities will ensure a large-scale cultural exchange and increased cooperation across many fields. This will help our societies to become more familiar with one another."

Mexico and Germany have agreed to organise a special year in 2016/17 with each country spotlighting and showcasing the other, in order to foster a greater understanding of the culture, economy, science and technology in the other country. The Germany Year in Mexico is set to run from May 2016 until the spring of 2017.