By Daniel Hunter

The UK and Mexico met for the fifth bilateral High Level Economic Talks in London at the end of last week (11/12th July).

The talks were chaired by Barbara Woodward, Director General Economic and Consular at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was joined by senior officials from the Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for International Development, UK Trade and Investment and the Home Office.

The Mexican delegation was led by Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) and Head of the Economic Unit at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Colleagues from a range of Mexican government ministries also participated.

The talks followed the successful discussions of the second annual UK-Mexico Trade Task Force on 11 July. The Trade Task Force was established to bring together Mexican and British experts to examine ways to overcome specific obstacles to trade and investment in the two countries.

The High Level Economic Talks took place in the context of a burgeoning bilateral relationship. The UK and Mexico have been working increasingly closely together on a number of issues in recent years; President Peña Nieto’s attendance at this year’s G8 Summit is testament to increasing levels of cooperation and warmth. The agenda reflected the wide range of issues on which the UK works with Mexico, including Financial Services, International Financial and Economic Governance, Trade and Investment, Education and Development.

The UK and Mexico agreed a number of commitments and issues to take forward at the talks in areas including Financial Services, Green Growth and Energy, Infrastructure, Bilateral Trade and Investment, Education, Science and Innovation, and Development.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Latin America, Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, said that the constructive dialogue on economic issues was symbolic of the growing bilateral relationship between the two countries, and that the UK would continue to strengthen its links with Mexico, with whom it shares so many values.

FCO Chair Barbara Woodward said after the conclusion of the talks that she was delighted to work with the Mexican team, and to have made strong progress on a wide range of economic issues to underpin an already vibrant relationship. Mexico co-Chair Juan Manuel Valle said that the dialogue between the authorities had allowed the strengthening of the links between the two countries, as well as backing efforts by the private sector to identify business opportunities.

Both sides agreed fully that the talks were a valuable mechanism for ensuring that economic cooperation between the two countries continued. The date for the next round was set for the second quarter of 2014.

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