“We believe the table is set for Mexico and Vietnam to increase their trade and cooperation in a vast array of areas that include climate change, education, science, and technology, to name a few. We are, in short, eager to build our partnership with Vietnam,” said Mr Fernando González Saiffe, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Mexico in Vietnam, in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum. Dang Yen reports.
How would you evaluate the bilateral cooperation between the two countries over the past years?
The bilateral cooperation and political dialogue between Mexico and Vietnam is living one of its best moments and promises to reach its true potential in the years to come.
Mexico and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1975. Since then the countries have built a solid friendship and have continuously increased their cooperation.
For example, the trade between Mexico and Vietnam has registered outstanding growth in the last ten years, having increased 24 times. Next year, important visits to Vietnam by Mexican business groups, government trade officials and legislators are scheduled, which should further expand bilateral trade and cooperation between the countries.
Our governments are working hard to increase cooperation in the near future by means of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding in areas that include: tourism, agriculture, science, technology, construction, development, medicine and education.
I believe that Mexico and Vietnam, although geographically distant, still share many common features.
That explains why our countries have supported each other over the years in the affirmation of their sovereignty and their national and economic development.
And that explains why, as financial markets and the world economy face new challenges today, our countries have increased their cooperation, both bilaterally and in multilateral political and economical forums that they both belong to, including APEC and the World Trade Organization.
And that explains also why, invariably, we support each other in multilateral forums in areas that encompass social, political and economic matters. For example, Mexico and Vietnam were both recently elected members of the UN Security Council and shared a seat in 2009, in which both agreed that the maintenance of peace and security has to be linked to a development agenda and our countries contributed to the success of the UN climate change conference held in Cancun, Mexico in 2010. Our countries similarities have laid the foundation for strengthening bilateral relations in the years to come.
Now is the time and the moment to seize that opportunity and keep increasing the bilateral cooperation.
What are Mexico’s economic advantages?
I strongly believe that Mexico today means opportunity for investment. Why? Because of its strategic location, because of its infrastructure and its logistic abilities for industry, because of its economic stability and its favourable business environment, because of its wide network of trade agreements, because of its strong and buoyant internal market, because of its political maturity that brings judicial safety and certainty to foreign investors.
Today, as Mexico and Vietnam open a new chapter in our relationship, at a time when people from our countries trade and travel more and know more about each other than ever before, Mexico constitutes undoubtedly a land of opportunities for Vietnamese investors.
Mexico has many advantages for international investors. My country has signed 12 free trade agreements with 44 countries, which makes it one of the most open countries to international trade in the world. This network provides it with access to more than one billion potential consumers. Its location and participation in NAFTA constitute a great platform to access the world’s largest markets.
Mexico has a population of over 100 million people, 45.7 of whom are of working age. That is why Mexico’s internal market is attractive for businesses that are established in my country.
The Mexican economy is ranked 14th in the world and second in Latin America according to the IMF.
Mexico also offers a consistently solid and stable macroeconomic framework that has brought certainty to foreign investment, even in a time of global economic uncertainty and crisis. The World Economic Forum’s latest report on global competitiveness revealed that, in terms of macroeconomic stability, Mexico improved its ranking 20 spots from 2008 and 2009, reaching 28th place worldwide when measuring public finances, national savings, inflation, interest rate and national debt.
Also, Mexico has reduced its tariffs from 13 percent to 8 percent on average, and they are expected to come down to 4 percent by 2012.
Under the foregoing conditions, we believe the table is set for Mexico and Vietnam to increase their trade and cooperation on a vast array of areas that include climate change, education, science and technology, to name a few. We are, in short, eager to build our partnership with Vietnam.
What are, in your opinion, potential fields that Vietnamese companies should focus on to further penetrate into Mexico?
For Vietnamese companies interested in investing in Mexico, opportunities are endless, but I would highlight the areas of science-technology, agriculture, healthcare, education, tourism, construction, culture, natural medicine, agronomy, biotechnology, engineering, microfinance and pharmaceuticals as all areas of great potential to expand our bilateral cooperation.
What do you expect in cooperating with VCCI?
VCCI can clearly constitute itself as a key partner in identifying trade and investment opportunities for Mexican and Vietnamese nationals and enterprises by organizing promotional activities, seminars and commercial missions with its Mexican counterparts including Pro Mexico
, the Mexican Government’s Agency in charge of attracting foreign direct investment (http://mim.promexico.gob.mx/wb/mim/inicio/_lang/en
, the most important Mexican business association dealing with international trade, foreign investment and technological development (http://www.comce.org.mx/
); Mexico’s Ministry of Economy (http://www.economia.gob.mx/); Mexico’s Foreign Ministry’s Economic Relations and International Cooperation Unit
) and the Embassy of Mexico in Vietnam.
Moreover, by relying on its Mexico partners, VCCI can help Vietnamese investors to identify Mexico’s hottest sectors, and network with other investors, funds, developers and operators seeking opportunities in Mexico.
What is your message to our readers for the New Year 2012?
My message is to define your goals and place yourself in a position to achieve them. Regarding your travel and investment plans for 2012, my best advice is to discover Mexico, to visit Mexico and to invest in Mexico, a land of opportunities.
At a personal level I wish that 2012 brings to Vietnam Business Forum Magazine readers plenty of health and happiness.