By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, (WAM) – Mexico – UAE bilateral trade has witnessed an approximate 38 percent upsurge in the past five years (2016-2020), a senior Mexican official told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), adding that Mexico wants to be a strategic partner for the UAE in agri-food sector.
“The bilateral trade between 2016 and 2020 registered an average annual growth rate of 6.7 percent, from US$511 million in 2016 to US$705.1 million [37.9 percent increase] in 2020,” said Martha Delgado, Mexican vice-minister for multilateral affairs and human rights, who was on an official visit to the UAE recently.
UAE, 2nd largest trade partner in ME
“For Mexico, the UAE is a strategic partner in the Middle East. It was our second-largest trading partner in the region in 2020 and 47th partner worldwide,” she said.
The bilateral relations between Mexico and the UAE have experienced significant development in the political, economic, commercial and cultural sectors, the vice minister noted.
“Within Mexico’s foreign economic policy, strengthening the relations with all Arab countries is a priority. In the case of the UAE, Mexico recognises its international importance and economic potential,” she emphasised. “Bilateral economic relations are stronger and closer than ever. Our participation at Expo 2020 Dubai gave us the opportunity to share thoughts and strengthen our ties. Expo is becoming the epicentre of the global economic recovery since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Potential partnership in agri-food sector
“The UAE is recognised as a very important international market and Mexico has the capacity to be a strategic partner for this country in the agri-food sector,” Delgado affirmed.
Mexican agricultural goods have been entering the UAE market smoothly, such as berries, chickpeas, beef, tomatoes, avocados, fresh asparagus, among others, and negotiations are underway to export other agricultural products to the UAE.
“For the UAE, Mexico represents an access to the Latin American and Caribbean region, and for Mexico, the UAE has been a gateway to the Middle East,” she pointed out.
Long history of ties, legal frameworks
Mexico and the UAE have a long history of collaboration, and along the years, bilateral legal framework has been enriched by several agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs), Delgado noted.
The agreements for promotion and protection of investments, the cooperation between the Mexican National Bank and the Emirates Development Bank, the cooperation between the Mexican Bank of Foreign Trade and the Dubai Economic Council, Air Services Agreement, an agreement to Avoid Double Taxation and Prevent Tax Evasion, as well as an MoU in energy and financial matters, are important ones, she explained.
“Recently, we signed an MoU to implement the Global Logistic Passport between the Mexican government and DP World. This instrument has the potential to boost the exchange of goods and services worldwide.”
The proposed opening of a trade office in Mexico City of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry would also strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties, the official affirmed.
Human rights, climate change
“The UAE and Mexico have several mutual interests in international arena, and as members of the UN Human Rights Council, we will be able to push a common agenda on human rights,” the vice-minister said. “We expect to have an open and enriching dialogue with the representatives from the UAE, when the 50th session of the Human Rights Council begins.”
The UAE has been elected for the third time as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2022-2024. The UAE has recently established the National Human Rights Institution for better protection of human rights.
Climate Change is also an issue that both countries deem important, as both countries hold two MoUs on cooperation in the energy sector, clean energies and related matters.
“Mexico welcomes the UAE initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050,” she said.
Visa exemption to promote tourism
In late 2018, the Mexican and UAE governments first signed a diplomatic MoU on mutual visa exemption that envisaged citizens of both countries to be allowed visa-free entry to each other’s country.
In January 2020, the UAE government announced visa-free entry for Mexican nationals, a month after Dubai’s Emirates Airlines made its inaugural flight to Mexico City via Barcelona.
“Tourism can be a catalyst for wellbeing. As you know, Mexico consistently ranks among the top destinations in different types of tourism. A visitor can become an investor, a cultural ambassador, a client for high-level medical services and a resident that wishes to spend their later years in our country,” she said.