India, Mexico discuss elevating bilateral ties

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday held a meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas during which they did a comprehensive review of the bilateral ties between the two countries and explored the possibility of elevating the relationship between the two countries to a new level.

“During their meeting, the external affairs minister and the Mexican foreign minister undertook a comprehensive review of the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, commercial and trade, financial, technical and other areas to further broaden and strengthen cooperation,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

It added that the ministers agreed to exchange high level visits in the near future and also discussed important regional and international issues of mutual interest.

“The two ministers discussed ways and means of elevating the special relationship between India and Mexico,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup stated, adding that both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the joint commission in Mexico in the second half of this year.

Swarup said that Sushma Swaraj acknowledged that the present bilateral trade volume of $6.5 billion was low and sought Mexico’s participation in flaghip programmes like Make in India, Skill India and Smart Cities.

“The two ministers also discussed cooperation in a number of areas, including oil and gas, renewable energy, urban planning and the housing sector,” he said.

India is the third largest importer of crude oil from Mexico. The Latin American country ranks among the top 10 oil-producing nations and has the world’s fourth largest shale oil reserves.

“The external affairs minister also mentioned that we would like Mexico’s participation in ensuring value addition and greater use of technology in our agriculture and agro-processing sectors,” Swarup stated.

“She also conveyed our interest in providing launch facilities for Mexican micro and nano satellites.”

The spokesman said that both sides shared their respective perspectives in engaging with the diaspora.

On Friday, delivering a lecture organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) here, Salinas, while stating that India has the largest diaspora and Mexico the second largest, said that her country could learn a lot from India in dealing with the diaspora.

“India has a long tradition of recognising the value of its diaspora abroad for public diplomacy,” she said.

In Saturday’s meeting, Sushma Swaraj and Salinas also exchanged views on cooperation in issues relating to women’s empowerment.

According to Swarup, the Mexican foreign minister also renewed the invitation extended by her country’s President Enrique Pena Nieto to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Mexico in the near future.

On Friday, soon after her arrival here on a two-day visit, Salinas called on Modi.

She also interacted with the private sector at a business event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Earlier on Saturday, Salinas undertook a short ride in the Delhi Metro and inaugurated a photographic exhibition called ‘Mexico Is’ at the Rajiv Chowk metro station.

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