Mexico: Nick Clegg Visit: Background Brief February 2014
Mexico: Nick Clegg Visit: Background Brief – February 2014
British Embassy Mexico City
The DPM arrives in Mexico in February with one of the largest business delegations ever to visit. He will find President Peña Nieto looking to turn Mexico’s potential into reality. Energy reform is a potential game-changer for British companies. The DPM will find huge goodwill towards the UK; and a desire to develop our already very positive relationship.
The Deputy Prime Minister makes his second official visit to Mexico City next week. He arrives from Colombia with Lord Livingston and a 40-strong business delegation, one of the largest ever to visit Mexico. The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Mexico, Baroness Bonham-Carter, will join the visit here.
Mexico in 2014
The DPM saw Mexico’s potential for himself in 2011. What’s changed is that, since taking office a year ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto has pushed a series of legislative reforms through Congress – education, telecoms, financial services, elections, tax and energy. .
As 2014 begins, Peña Nieto will aim to show that the reforms can deliver what he promised – lower energy prices, better education, social welfare, a reduction in unemployment. Forecasts for growth in 2014 are positive (2.9% – 4%) and better figures in the US will help. But securing the secondary legislation on which each of the reforms depends will take time, skill and tact. More than anything, 2014 will be about implementation.
The bilateral relationship
Peña Nieto sees the UK as one of Mexico’s key partners in Europe. The Mexicans agreed to designate 2015 as “The Year of the UK in Mexico” and “The Year of Mexico in the UK”. But despite this goodwill, we face stiff competition from all major players.
Trade and investment is the engine which drives our relationship. In 2011, the DPM agreed with Calderón that we would increase two-way trade to £4.2bn by 2015. Latest figures are close to £3bn. However, the recent reforms are set to expand opportunities for British business, in infrastructure, education, retail and other sectors. Energy reform, in particular, is a potential game-changer, where UK expertise and experience will be especially relevant.
The visit by the DPM and accompanying delegation is an excellent opportunity to set out the UK offer.
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