The inaugural Australia-Mexico Second Track Dialogue in Canberra is an exciting opportunity to enhance our bilateral relationship.

Over the next two days ANU’s Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) will bring together leaders from academia, business, government and media to identify strategies to further advance the Australia – Mexico relationship.

I welcome the participation of Mexico’s senior foreign affairs official, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carlos de Icaza. Deputy Minister de Icaza’s visit highlights the growing importance both countries place on our bilateral relationship and follows my visit to Mexico in April.

Australian investment in Mexico has increased 20-fold in the last decade, to $5.3 billion in 2013.  Mexico is Australia’s largest trading partner in Latin America, with $2.5 billion in merchandise trade in 2013.  This will increase with Mexico’s package of ambitious reforms in key sectors, particularly energy. 

President Peña Nieto is also scheduled to visit Australia for the G20, the first visit by a Mexican President since 2007.

Mexico comes to the G20 this year with strong reform credentials and a robust growth agenda and we are likeminded on a number of issues including trade liberalisation.

It is pleasing to see the Asia-Pacific is a priority area for the Peña Nieto administration.

Australia and Mexico are both APEC members and parties to Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  Australia is an observer to the pro-trade Asia-oriented Pacific Alliance, comprising Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.

Through our membership of MIKTA, an informal partnership with Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey - we have a regular opportunity to enhance cooperation on global issues.

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