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Latin America

New Zealand - Mexico Joint Experts Group Study

New Zealand and Mexico established a Joint Experts Group to examine the promotion of bilateral economic relations, including trade, investment, and industrial cooperation.

The Joint Experts Group was made up of government officials, business representatives, and academics from both countries which met in New Zealand in June 2005 and then again in Mexico in November 2005. The Group’s joint report was presented to Trade Minister Goff and the Mexican Vice Minister Angel Villalobos at the APEC meeting in Hanoi in November 2006.

The Joint Experts Group concluded that a case exists for deepening and widening the existing trade relationship. In particular the report notes that:

The Joint Experts Group discussed a range of possible options for taking the relationship forward:

  1. Maintain in the short term the current state of the trade relationship – seeking to strengthen it by adopting a more active bilateral trade and investment promotion programme.
  2. Negotiate a ‘Free Trade Agreement’ which, recognising the differences in the levels of development and size between Mexico and New Zealand, establishes mechanisms to deal with more sensitive sectors.
  3. Negotiate an ‘FTA plus’ agreement which, going beyond a traditional FTA, establishes a mechanism for ‘strategic economic cooperation’ which will look to more fully capture the benefits of a closer bilateral economic partnership.

The Minister of Trade Phil Goff visited Mexico in March 2007 and discussed the Joint Experts Group report with the new Trade Minister Eduardo Sojo and members of the Mexican Congress. The new Mexican Administration is still in the process of developing its trade policy priorities for its six year term. However, it was clear during the talks that Mexico was keen to further diversify its exports and links into the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the coming months it is hoped more bilateral visits will take place that will further promote the environment for taking the relationship to a new level.

While Mexico is New Zealand's 18th largest export destination, its attractiveness flows from the fact that it is the world's fourth largest import market for dairy produce and an important market for New Zealand meat and live animal exports.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is keen to hear from interested parties in New Zealand on ways that could improve or facilitate their trade and investment activities with Mexico.

For more information, contact jacqui.caine@mfat.govt.nz +64 4 439 8109.

Page last updated: Monday, 28 May 2007 16:38 NZST