Mexico has formally become a TPP negotiating participant following the completion of the domestic consultation periods of the current nine TPP members.
Mexico is on the up. It has a population of 115 million people; its growth rate in the first half of 2012 was a strong 4.3 percent; its middle class is projected to comprise 80 percent of its population by 2030; and by 2050, it is projected to be the fifth largest economy in the world.
It shares a Pacific border; it exports over $US700 billion a year; it is a strong manufacturing and logistical hub; and its exports to the Asia Pacific region alone have grown by 17.5 percent in the past five years, making it a welcome partner for TPP.
Currently, from Mexico we import mainly machine parts, cars and light vehicles, grapes and beer, at a total value of around NZ$190million a year. To Mexico, we export on average NZ$450million a year, which is primarily dairy products and meat (New Zealand is supplying 76 percent of Mexico’s imported sheep meat), and we have some great high-end technology and retail companies entering the Mexican market.
But there is potential to do a lot more.
New Zealand has been interested in concluding a Free Trade Agreement with Mexico for some time. A comprehensive market access scenario would mean much greater opportunities for both Mexican and New Zealand exporters and consumers.Mexico and New Zealand are already regional partners in APEC, we work closely in multilateral fora, and we are increasing our social and commercial networks. Mexico’s entry into TPP is a logical step in our strong bilateral relationship, and we look forward to working with Mexico to achieve our common commitment to an ambitious 21st century agreement.