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Maas in Mexico: a strategic trade partner that shares our values  Mexico

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Mexico City

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Mexico City, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

01.05.2019 - Article

Germany and Mexico are agreeing on an ambitious agenda, focusing above all on multilateralism, business and the rule of law.

Also under the new Government, the pace of German-Mexican cooperation remains high. During his first official visit, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his colleague Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón agreed to step up engagement for a rules-based world order and trade and at the same time underscored Mexico’s role as an important trade partner that shares Germany’s values.

Close partner, particular on multilateral issues

On many global issues such as Agenda 2030, development cooperation and climate protection, Mexico is one of Germany’s most committed partners outside the EU. Often, Mexico is also a successful bridge-builder to other regional groups and a heavyweight in international bodies such as the G20 and the OECD. In 2015, the Federal Government and Mexico set up the Binational Commission which since then has met every two years. The Year of Germany in Mexico taking in many different events was held in 2016/2017. For 2019, Maas and his Mexican colleague Ebrard Casaubón have identified the rule of law, trade, sustainable development, the dual education system, science and innovation as priorities. Furthermore, at their meeting in Mexico City, the two Foreign Ministers will now sign a joint declaration on future enhanced cooperation. Beforehand, Maas will also meet the newly elected Mexican President Lopéz Obrador.

Business is central, vocational training in demand

There are almost 2000 German businesses active in Mexico accounting for a total investment of 35 billion euros and more than 150,000 jobs. In April 2018, Mexico was the first Latin American country to be Guest of Honour at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair. This highlights once more the trust and intensive business relations between the two countries. In Mexico City, Heiko Maas will thus also have a meeting with Economics Minister Graciela Márquez Colín.

The German model for vocational training is very popular in Mexico. German companies and institutions have made key contributions on the ground to ensure that the private sector and the Government move closer together. As part of a pilot project, a Mexican model for dual vocational training was introduced, the “Modelo Mexicano de la Formación Dual”, with some 5000 trainees across the country; the dual studies sphere is currently being extended in cooperation with Germany. In Mexico, vocational training based on the German model is a successful way of combating youth unemployment and the shortage of skilled workers.

The rule of law and freedom of the press

The newly elected Mexican Government has announced major changes in the spheres of the rule of law and human rights. Germany is supporting inter alia the General Prosecutor's Office by providing technical expertise to improve criminal investigation and protect victims of violence.

The work and freedom of journalists in particular are at threat in Mexico. Every year, Germany awards a media prize in Mexico to support courageous journalists and draw attention to the topic. Also during Heiko Maas’ visit, this issue is to be addressed during talks.

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