Malayan Eduard Rubenovich, Russia Ambassador to Mexico
How do you grade Mexico’s competitiveness for Foreign Investment?
It is obvious that Mexico has become a magnet that attracts foreign investments for several reasons. Mexico features benefits for investors to increase their production by having low labor cost, abundant natural resources and a privileged geographic location.
My belief is that at this time Mexico is at a crucial economic stage of development and has developed multiple favorable conditions for economic progress. Companies located in this territory have access to world class technology. In regard to exports this country provides privileged conditions enhanced by the extensive free trade network that is Mexico’s. We see excellent opportunities for foreign investors to export and also to supply the growing internal market.
Mexico occupies a leading place worldwide attracting foreign investment in sectors such as electronics, automotive production and many others. Abundant foreign capital is a great advantage in the development of the automotive industry and auto components.
Many companies, however, are evaluating and sizing-up the expectations for new investments and sometimes they see risks in terms of insecurity, bureaucracy and some elemental social differences.
Nevertheless, we evaluate the competitive situation of Mexico for foreign investment as very positive.
What is your plan of action at the Embassy in terms of strengthening the bilateral relationship between Russia and Mexico?
The Embassy of Russia in Mexico is dedicated to the promotion of various contacts and strategic actions that will stimulate relations between various entities of our countries. For example, we participate in many cultural forums and debates.
But our main duties have to be focused on the bilateral relationships in the economic, political, technical, civic, educational and cultural issues. To accomplish our responsibilities we greatly support increasing the contact between diverse associations and companies, both Russian and Mexican.
For example, at this moment we are dedicating research to prepare for the 6th Session of the Joint Bilateral Commission on economic, commercial, scientific, technical and maritime affairs.
In addition, we provide information and other support for the business organizations and Chambers of Commerce in Mexico. We are doing this so that Russian companies have direct immediate contact with their Mexican counterparts.
The Chamber of Commerce of Moscow is preparing a commercial mission for Mexican entrepreneurs interested in our Capital City of Moscow.
What is the current status of the diplomatic relationship between Russia and Mexico?
This year we will have enjoyed diplomatic relations between Mexico and Russia for 125 years. We will be commemorating this historic year by featuring the progressive development of our relationship. Even though there are great cultural and geographic distances, we have in common that both countries are democratic, modern, developed and with market economies exhibiting high growth indexes.
Russia and Mexico both express interest in showing interest in the worldwide political dialogue. Both nations are extremely involved in common matters of international interest like the reformation of the global financial system.
The position of Moscow and Mexico is identical in regard to key issues on the global agenda. This gives us a common bond needed to strengthen the peace and understanding between the two nations at the Global Organisms and Forums like the G-20. As we look back the G20 was held in Mexico in 2012 and in Russia in 2013.
We believe the constructive collaboration between our countries is really highlighted in the framework of the APEC, with our similar points of view in terms of justice and economic democracy subordinated to the international laws.
What is the present commercial relationship between Russia and Mexico?
For Russia Mexico is a key counterpart among the Latin countries. The results in terms of economic cooperation strongly reflect a testimony to the growth and quantity of a variety of successful joint projects and commercial operations.
Even though turbulence exists in the economic situation around the world, the commercial exchange is still positive and dynamic. During the last five years, from the period 2009 to 2014, the volume of bilateral commerce has grown from US$622 million to US$2.16 billion. The commerce is 3.5 times higher than it was five year ago. For the first time last year the bilateral trade passed the US$2 billion mark.
Production from Russian companies is present in the Mexican market in fertilizers, in metallurgical equipment and aircraft. Thousands of Mexicans use electricity from hydroelectric plants built with the participation of the Russian Power Machines Company.
Mexican agriculture has raised its production capacity thanks to the fertilizers coming from Russia. Interjet uses aircraft manufactured in Russia named the Sukhoi Superjet 100.
What are the opportunity areas seen in terms of strengthening relations between Russia and Mexico?
We notice that Mexico welcomes diverse cultural events that feature the Russian culture and heritage. Also, Mexico has received well the military, scientific, educative and commercial spheres of activity. This is why we focus our attention on so many aspects of interest to Mexico.
In Russia, we find many opportunities to strengthen possibilities for bilateral cooperation. In the military field, for instance, your marines might want to use Russian helicopters that have proven to be highly competitive products in both price and quality.
In the scientific field our relationship is also wide open. We have an excellent chance for growth because we have outstanding examples of ways to do land diagnostics with Russian technology in Mexico. Some of our scientists are already working here on technical and energy issues.
Energy is exactly what we are interested in, and also the production of automobiles and auto parts. In these areas we expect dynamic growth along with our exchange and trade. In addition to this there are the alimentary, beverages and other sectors where we expect exciting growth.
We welcome the Mexican tourists that come to Russia. We can also see that Mexico attracts many Russian tourists to the beautiful beaches of Cancun via a direct charter flight from Russia.
What are the current possibilities for bilateral investment between Russia and Mexico?
We have had a positive trend in the growth of our bilateral trade. The challenge of investment is still far from the full potential for the Mexican and Russian economies. In recent years we have had a progressive tendency of Mexican investment in Russia, but the volume of these investments has really been insignificant.
The belief of the Mexican businessmen is that the Russian market offers good options for Mexican investment. The dynamic of the Russian investments in Mexico have been positive but are still far from their real potential.
What areas of investment opportunity are Russian firms looking at in Mexico?
Even though we believe that our history is rich in our diplomatic relations between Mexico and Russia, the cooperation in investments is far from its top potential. Russian investors probably don’t really know very well the opportunities that Mexico offers the world.
In the near future, for instance, Aerospace may be an area of opportunity because this is where Rusia has a strong industry. The first satellite and the first rocket ship, remember, were launched by Russians.
In the energy sector, Russia is strong and can certainly deepen its interest in Mexico. We have small companies with technology that can help significant investments in telecommunications.
Any last comment for the MexicoNOW subscribers?
Our Embassy is constantly receiving MexicoNOW and it is important to mention that this information helps us develop our presence in your country. In addition, it helps us get to know Mexican trends better.
In MexicoNOW we find arguments to attract investments from Russia to Mexico.