Media Release

7 December, 2009

Strengthening Political Cooperation with Mexico

Australia and Mexico have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise political consultations between the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Memorandum is the result of an agreement reached between the Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Stephen Smith MP, and his Mexican counterpart, Ms Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, during Mr Smith's visit to Mexico City in November 2008.

It is a further demonstration of the Government's commitment to enhancing Australia's engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean.

The agreement will create a forum for Mexican and Australian officials to discuss freely the bilateral and global issues, including climate change, free trade and nuclear non-proliferation, confronting both nations and to develop solutions to the challenges they pose.

Australia and Mexico are both active members of the G20 and, on climate change, the Copenhagen Commitment Circle. Australia cooperates closely with Mexico in a range of multilateral fora, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the forum for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Forum for East Asia Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).

Bilaterally, Mexico continues to be Australia's second largest trading partner in Latin America. Total two-way merchandise trade in 2008-09 was valued at A$2.2 billion.

Mexican officials, led by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms María de Lourdes Aranda Bezaury, were in Sydney from 3-5 December to represent Mexico at the one-and-a-half track conference exploring the idea of an Asia Pacific community.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mexico's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms María de Lourdes Aranda Bezaury and the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Ric Wells.

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