50 Years of Mexico-China Relations in 2022: Recovery in ActionBy Pola Grijalva | Thu, 01/06/2022 - 09:02
We are standing on the cusp of a great opportunity. If any country can be the global innovation leader that sets the pace, it is surely located in Asia. China, in particular, is innovating at record speed and its futuristic cities are starting to look as if they are from another planet. We have witnessed its accomplishments over the last 40 years, and, just to mention a good example, the future that will be shaped by science and the technology of super-intelligent computers increasingly is being developed and supported by Chinese investors. How can Mexico take part in this trend?
Today, there are two very interesting factors to consider. First, the USMCA really opened the possibility of increasing the proportion of the regional content that can be added to Mexico´s value-added chains. This has been a great magnet for the reallocation of Chinese companies in Mexico, particularly in the automotive, electric, electronic, and metal mechanic industries. While Chinese corporations have begun to land in Mexico, it is very clear that this represents good opportunities but also challenges that we must be prepared to meet.
Second, China-Mexico relations have been upgraded to the level of an “Integral Strategic Alliance” and now we have many opportunities for dialog and interaction mechanisms in the commercial, economic, governmental, scientific and cultural areas. This has resulted in an increase in projects, investment and business that allows us to strengthen the ties between our two countries.
In 2021, total exchange between Mexico and China accounted for around US$85 billion, and this is in a year of a global pandemic. In 2020, while imports decreased about 9 percent, exports increased around 12 percent. Mexican food exports to China tripled. This has put Mexico in a position where we can see China not only as our second-biggest business partner, but also as an attractive market for our fresh, high-grade and even our most sophisticated products.
We are seeing a sustained increase in China's GDP per capita. It already exceeds US$10,000, with some cities on the mainland above US$20,000, and even surpassing US$60,000 per capita in places like Hong Kong. In other words, China has 1.4 billion people with consumption power in a growing middle-class society.
At the same time, we recognize that Mexico has many advantages to become a significant partner in this evolution. The country has created a strong industrialized economy, a significant critical mass of talent and a good network of commercial partners in a global open market.
How then can we access these opportunities and enhance our exchanges in a new economy that is on pace for recovery? That is a question the “Mexico-China Forum 2022: Recovery in Action” will look to answer. This forum will take place on Jan. 24-26, 2022 in the Senate of the Republic of Mexico. The event is organized by the China Chamber and the Asia-Pacific-Africa Foreign Affairs Commission of the Senate, presided over by Sen. Cora Cecilia Pinedo. It is important to mention that in 2022, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and we will recount our interactions and challenges. But our links were formed much earlier: more than 500 years ago, business relations between Mexico and China began through the Manila Galleon. Now, the conditions are set to continue these relations for the centuries to come.
Mexico-China Forum 2022: Recovery in Action is a privileged platform for a constructive and open dialogue between business leaders, government officials and the academic community, with 17 sessions over four days, covering topics such as Industry 4.0, Trade Development, Logistics, The New Customs Rules and Administration, Food Exports, The Greater Bay Area Initiative, Reallocation and Soft Landing for Chinese Investment, Tourism and Exchange, New Energies and A Roadmap to Attract Chinese Investment in Infrastructure. The forum will demonstrate the balance of our relations over the last 50 years and provide a vision of the future of this relationship from the Mexican and the Chinese perspectives.
What is to be developed in this shared and common future? Let us ignite our inspiration for a prosperous and advanced new world. We can start by opening our minds to embrace good ideas to shape our new ventures.
Registration is now open. The program details are available at www.mexicochinaforum.org.