|205 years of independence: Juan O‘Gorman, mural painting at Castillo de Chapultepec (Independence Room), Mexico City. — Photo courtesy of the Mexican Embassy
On September 15 as Mexico celebrates the 205th anniversary of its independence, Mexican Ambassador Sara Valdes Bolano writes to Viet Nam News
A few days ago, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto assessed progress on the five pillars of his administration during his third government report. These pillars are: Mexico at peace, inclusive Mexico, Mexico with quality education, Mexico with world responsibility and prosperous Mexico.
Indicators show substantial progress: a decrease in violence and serious crimes; the reinforcement of social programs, especially the national campaign against hunger and aiming to improve living conditions. By implementing educational reform, coverage of primary and secondary education has been expanded; similarly, spending on higher education, scientific research and experimental development was at its' highest level last year.
Tax revenues also registered record highs in the first half of 2015, making up 13.6 per cent of GDP; inversely unemployment and informal labour rates diminished.
Thanks to energy reform, the oil and gas industries have increased their capacity and profitability. Progress was also made in telecommunications and in infrastructure development; while agriculture has become one of the most dynamic sectors in the economy. Mexico is today the ninth most attractive and reliable country for foreign direct investment, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
On the international stage, Mexico has fostered relations with all world regions, opening new opportunities for co-operation, trade and investment.
The friendship between Mexico and Viet Nam, which turns 40 this year, is a strong and dynamic relationship.
In politics, dialogue is channeled through the Political Consultations Mechanism on Matters of Mutual Interest established in 2002. This has allowed both countries to make progress on the bilateral agenda and identify shared views on important issues in the multilateral agenda, namely, the fight against the causes of climate change and mitigating its consequences; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; protection of migrants, combating against human trafficking and HIV-AIDS prevention.
Viet Nam and Mexico are members of the Human Rights Council (2014-16). Both countries are actively involved in major bi-regional forums including the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum (APEC), the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC); as well as in the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP).
Though the bilateral legal framework for trade is in the initial stages, we are working together to strengthen it.
Trade volume between Mexico and Viet Nam totaled US$2265.1 million in 2014. As the economic potential is considerable, one of the main objectives of the 2013-18 Sectorial Programme of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to expand the Mexican presence in Viet Nam among other Southeast Asian countries with significant economic growth and opportunities to increase trade, tourism and investment flows.
Two countries share the desire to promote and identify new areas for scientific and technical co-operation, as well as for exchanging expertise in the design and implementation of public policies. These forms of collaboration represent a strategic long-term investment and promote the rapprochement between our societies. The same is true for educational and cultural co-operation.
Last August, the first meeting of the Educational and Cultural Co-operation Joint Commission was held in the framework of the visit to Mexico of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh.
In this fortieth anniversary of the establishment of Viet Nam-Mexican diplomatic relations, it is possible to envision a promising future, fostering bilateral co-operation to generate wealth and prosperity for the benefit of our peoples. — VNS