India-Mexico relations have long been characterized by warmth, friendship and commonality of views on a wide range of issues. Among average Mexicans there is a general awareness of and high interest in Indian culture, social values and her pluralistic democracy based on accommodation and tolerance. And, during the cold war Mexico and India worked together closely as members of the UN, G-77, G-15 and G-6 (nuclear disarmament) committees.
Both countries actively defended the interests of developing countries such as in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations.
Until the mid-1980s as many as eight visits at the level of HOS/ HOG highlighted the bilateral ties between the two nations. The interaction has in recent years gained further significant movement with the exchange of visits at the highest levels taking place within a span of seven months by President Calderon in September 2007 and President Pratibha Patil in April 2008.
The present Mexican government considers India as one of its potential strategic partners, economically speaking, as well as a friend when it comes to working out multilateral approaches together on major global issues and trends. The two share an active, diversi- fied, and expanding bilateral relationship of “privileged partnership”. This was basically established during President Calderon’s visit to India in 2007.
Upcoming meetings of the bilateral and other similar get-togethers are expected to help further advance these relations in their various, political, multilateral, economic, and cultural dimensions. In addition to this India and Mexico have been actively consulting and cooperating with each other in international fora, including the United Nations, G-5, G-20 and others.
Among the bilateral agreements signed between the two countries are:
Cultural Agreement (1975)
Agreement for Cooperation in S&T (1975)
Cultural Exchange Program (2005)
Educational Exchange Program (2005)
Agreement on Visa Exemption on Diplomatic and Official Passports( 2005)
MOU on Cooperation in SMEs (2006)
Extradition Treaty (2007)
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters (2007)
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (2007)
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2007)
Air Services Agreement (2008)
MOU on Cooperation in the Field of New and Renewable Energy (2008)
Exhibit 1 shows the Trade Balance between Mexico and India. It shows that commerce between the two countries reached its maximum level in the year 2008. What really stands out is that since 2000 commerce between Mexico and India has been evolving in a very satisfactory way.
Several important factors in the trade balance between Mexico and India are revealing. Take, for example, the fact that during the 11 year time span from January 1999 to December 2010, total exports from Mexico to India rose from US$82,227 to US$1.009 billion (+1,127%). And at the same time imports from India to Mexico also showed an impressive 673% growth.
Total commerce between the two countries and reciprocal action brought in US$2.8 billion during the year 2010 in trade between the two partners. The total commerce between Mexico and India showed important improvements, especially during the period since 2005.
In fact, the period 1999 to 2010 represents a 792% growth rate in total commerce between the two nations and in 2010 there was a 26% increase (US$2.8 billion) compared with 2009 (US$2.2 billion) in commerce.
Exhibit 2 shows Indian Investment in Mexico. During the period from January 2000 through June of 2010, companies with capital from Indian invested US$43.3 million. India’s interest in Mexico is documented by major investments by the Arcelor- Mittal Group in steel and mining.
Most of the leading Indian companies in IT/software (TCS, Infosys, NIIT, Aptech, Hexaware, Wipro, Patni Computer Systems) and pharmaceuticals (Ranbaxy, Strides Labs, Claris Life Sciences, Wockhardt, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, and Solara) have set up joint ventures in Mexico taking advantage of its strategic location, large market and investmentfriendly policies. In 2008, JK Tyres of India bought the Mexican tire company Tornel. Leading Mexican companies like Homex and Cinepolis have likewise invested in India in recent times.
The main components of Indian exports to Mexico are engineering goods, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, gems, jewelry and textiles, in addition to agriculture products. In conclusion, it is important to mention the creation of the India- Mexico Business Chamber (IMBC).
It was formally launched in Mexico by Foreign Minister Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez on October 27, 2006 with the objective of playing a vital, catalytic role toward the objective of realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and economic relations through enhanced business-to-business contacts and interaction with concerned governmental authorities.
A delegation from IMBC accompanied the Mexican Economic Minister to India in May 2007. IMBC was also instrumental, in coordination with ProMexico (an official Mexican promotional agency), in organizing a large business delegation from Mexico to India. The group accompanied Mexico’s President to India in September 2007, and coordinated the meetings of the CII delegation accompanying the Indian President to Mexico in April of 2008. IMBC has been expanding fast and a chapter was opened in Guadalajara. At present it has a membership of more than 50 companies.