One of the world’s biggest car exporters. The capital is popular among young people from all over the world due to its vibrant art and party scene. The public is critical of border walls. The capital’s new airport is to be completed soon. The list of things which Germany and Mexico have in common is long – as Foreign Minister Gabriel discovered during his visit on Friday (19 May). The talks with President Peña Nieto and Foreign Minister Videgaray were thus very amicable. The violence committed by the drug cartels, especially against journalists, is a cause for concern.
Special guest at Hannover Messe
Mexicans and Germans are defying the 12-hour flight which separates the two countries and moving ever closer together. There have been around 3.4 million visitors to the more than 1000 events during the Year of Germany in Mexico – proof of the lively interest which links the two countries. In 2018, Mexico will be the first ever Latin American country to be Guest of Honour at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair.
Common positions in the G20 and OECD
In economic terms, too, Germany and Mexico have many shared interests as industrialised nations. Both countries have close ties with the United States and are energetically championing a free and fair world trade order. They are key partners, both within the framework of the G20 and of the OECD. Gabriel said during his visit that Germany was therefore keen to see the Global Agreement between Mexico and the EU updated.
On arrival in Mexico City, the German Foreign Minister first of all had talks with his new Mexican counterpart, Luis Videgaray, before they co-chaired a meeting of the Binational Commission. The Commission decided, among other things, that Germany would invest a further 200 million euros in the sphere of environmental and climate protection in Mexico. Furthermore, the two countries are working together on a joint university of excellence in the social sciences field. Before the Commission convened, the Mexican business confederation (CCE) and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed an agreement on closer cooperation in future in the field of vocational training.
Brutal violence against journalists
In the morning, Foreign Minister Gabriel met representatives of Mexican civil society to find out more about the country’s human rights situation. Afterwards, Gabriel expressed his great concern about the scale of violence committed by the drug cartels, who are responsible for more than 20,000 deaths each year. The talks focused in particular on the targeted attacks against journalists who report on this issue. The Foreign Minister announced that Germany would do more to support Mexican journalists. For example, it wanted to intensify rule-of-law cooperation with Mexico, inter alia by expanding journalist exchange programmes, and to provide the dependants of murdered journalists with financial support. During the talks, the Mexican Government expressed its readiness to cooperate with Germany on this. Gabriel said that this willingness demonstrated the great confidence which Germany enjoyed in Mexico and he expressly thanked his hosts for that.