Mexico, PH to boost trade, culture cooperative engagements

MEXICAN ENVOY. Mexico’s Ambassador-designate Daniel Hernandez Joseph presents his credentials to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on Monday (July 10, 2023). Joseph said the Philippines and Mexico can do so much in trade, culture and science. (Photo courtesy of PCO)

Mexico and the Philippines have agreed to further enhance their mutual cooperation and engagement in trade and culture as part of the observance of their 70 years of diplomatic relations this year.

Presenting his credentials to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on Monday, Mexico’s Ambassador-designate Daniel Hernandez Joseph said the two countries can do so much “in trade, in culture, and in science.”

Marcos agreed and noted that the new economy calls for new skills the workforce should possess than what countries traditionally depended upon before.

“And much of the work we are doing to transform the economy is to transform the workforce so that the daily technologies are understood. It extends in every field,” he noted, adding rhat while Mexico is seen traditionally as a distant country halfway around the world, it doesn’t matter anymore today, noting the pandemic has taught people how to do business without physical travels.

Marcos also thanked Mexico for taking care of Filipinos in their country, where there exists a strong Filipino community. During their exchange, Hernandez Joseph disclosed that Mexico’s national university has opened a Philippines studies course this year. “It’s just beginning but like I said it opens new opportunities for furthering the knowledge and exchange of each other today not only in history but who we are together and what we can do together today,” he said.

The diplomatic relations between the Philippines started on April 14, 1953. The Philippines opened its embassy in Mexico City and the Mexican embassy opened in Manila in the same year. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, however, Acapulco and Manila were linked by the historic Galleon Trade when both countries were under Spanish colonial rule.

Earlier this year, the Philippines and Mexico commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Bilateral Relations through the illumination of national monuments and buildings in both countries.

Latest data showed that as of February this year, a total of 1,206 Filipinos are in Mexico who are mostly craft and trade related workers, technicians and industry and associate professionals in various fields.

Last year, Mexico was the 23rd trading partner of the Philippines, with total value of trade amounting to USD1.1 billion. Philippine products  promoted in Mexico include machinery or mechanical appliances and auto parts, electrical or electronic equipment, food products such as desiccated coconuts, vegetable saps and extracts, coconut palm, condiments, furniture and furnishings, and garments and footwear.

Mexico has ongoing applications for Philippine market access for bovine and pork meat, grapes, avocados and citrus. (PNA)