AS AMBASSADOR WHAT IS YOUR ACTION PLAN THIS YEAR FOR DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN URUGUAY AND MEXICO?
Our plan of action for next year includes activities that will reinvigorate our bilateral relations in the cultural / politic and the commercial / economic frames. Uruguay has had a Free Trade Agreement since 2004 with a Strategic Agreement Association. From this we are determined to give a strong push for the continuing enrichment of the exchange between the two nations.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN URUGUAY AND MEXICO?
In respect to the current situation of our bilateral relationship with Mexico, we are standing at a great moment in our relationship from every point of view whether it is political, economic, commercial or cultural.
Mexico is the only Country that has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Uruguay since 2004 and has given a strong impulse to bilateral commerce by tripling commercial exchange activity. We would like to comment that during the last year, our President Jose Mujuca Cordano and several of our State Ministries were accompanied by important entrepreneurs and they all went to visit Mexico. Our goal was to look for opportunities to increase business between the two Countries. Regarding the cultural agenda Uruguay has been invited as Honorary Country to the International Festival Cervantino 2013.
HOW HAS COMMERCE BETWEEN MEXICO AND URUGUAY EVOLVED OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS?
The evolution of the Commerce in the past fi ve years has been very important. It was when we passed from US$313 million in the year 2006 to US$515 million last year (2011). It is important to clarify that the exports from Uruguay to Mexico in 2006 reached US$252 million. But during the year 2011 it went to US$272 million. At the same time exports from Mexico to Uruguay grew from US$61 million in 2006 to US$243 million in 2011!
HOW HAS THE URUGUAYAN INVESTMENT IN MEXICO EVOLVED?
Between 1999 and 2011, companies with Uruguayan capital invested US$76.4 million in Mexico. On the other side, Mexico’s investment in our South American Country reached an impressive US$200 million.
WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF SATISFACTION OF URUGUAYAN COMPANIES WITH THEIR OVERALL OPERATIONS IN MEXICO?
The level of satisfaction of the companies is good in general and this depends on the sectors. For example, in the dairy industry there has been a strong 40 year trajectory of operations in Mexico. These operations are very good. For some new fi rms entering Mexico the cost of their freight is sometimes complicated.
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR URUGUAYAN TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN MEXICO FOR THIS YEAR (2012)?
The volume of commercial exchange for this year will be close to the US$550 million.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC SECTORS TARGETED BY URUGUAYAN COMPANIES?
The area of opportunities seems mainly in the Services and the Information Technologies sector.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE MEXICAN ECONOMY?
The fi nancial crisis of the years 2008-2009 was something that was very harmful for Mexico based on its commercial closeness to the United States. But Mexico is now recovering with great statistics in its macro economy. This is something that demonstrates the outstanding management of their economy.