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Interview: Mexican leader sees strengthening China ties as ‘top priority’

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has hailed China as a global economic power, stating that "our priority is to strengthen bilateral relations."

Pena Nieto said in a recent joint interview with Chinese media that the ties have deepened since he and Chinese President Xi Jinping decided in June 2013 to elevate the relationship to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Such a relationship aims to bring prosperity and more opportunities to both societies through commercial exchanges, as well as cooperation in culture, tourism and education, said the president.

"Today, the relationship between China and Mexico is deeper, more productive and positive for both nations. The intense dynamic of dialogue and bilateral collaboration in recent years has allowed us to bring into full play the potential of our economies," Pena Nieto emphasized.

He noted that more and more Mexican products like pork and tequila are reaching Chinese shores, while more financial exchanges are possible as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) opened its first office in Mexico in 2015.

Meanwhile, cultural exchange has been another important dimension in which both countries have worked well, said Pena Nieto as he mentioned the exhibition of the work by prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera touring China's Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

"Education and culture have helped to enrich mutual understanding and reinforce the friendship of the two nations that both enjoy millennial cultures," Pena Nieto added.

China is "continuing to grow, despite complicated global conditions. We must study its experience to learn from its successful practices," said the Mexican leader.

"Its economic dynamism, the size of its economy and its high demand for goods have made China a very attractive market for Mexico. The key is to focus on learning and enjoying the complementarity in our economies."

As the G20 Summit began Sunday in China's eastern city of Hangzhou, Pena Nieto said the summit is a platform privileging dialogues on economic growth, global financial system, sustainable development, free trade, energy efficiency, food security, the fight against corruption and climate change.

In terms of the summit, Pena Nieto said the G20 member states "face crucial tasks of maintaining stability, building an innovative, interconnected, inclusive and growing global economy, and improving global economic governance."

"During our last bilateral meeting at the 2015 G20 summit in Turkey, I expressed to President Xi my desire to share Mexico's broad experience within the group," said Pena Nieto.

He detailed that Mexico has promoted an active agenda including allotting larger investments to infrastructure projects, adopting energy efficiency policies and other steps to ensure a sustainable economic growth.

"In this way, Mexico works closely with the world to be part of the solutions to the great challenges of the 21st century," according to the Mexican president.

Pena Nieto added that, in recent years, Mexico has been working to make itself a balanced area for business and investment, including through the creation of special economic zones.

These zones, located in the south of Mexico, seek to stand out as centers of innovation, technology and economic development, in order to attract investment and create quality jobs.

Pena Nieto added that a group of businessmen from China's Guangdong Province has already been attracted and recently signed 18 cooperation and exchange agreements with Mexican companies in such sectors as aerospace, electronics, automotive, biotechnology and energy.

"The approval of the Federal Law for Special Economic Zones gives us the perfect opportunity to deepen the strategic partnership between China and Mexico," he noted.


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