-5.3 C
February 9, 2023

Mexico celebrates Independence Day

By HE María Cristina de la Garza Sandoval, Ambassador of Mexico to Romania

On September 16thMexico celebrates the 202nd anniversary of our proclamation of independence as a modern nation-state.In observing the sustained growth in the number of Romanians visiting Mexico, either for tourism, to explore business opportunities or to study, I am happy to observe how bilateral links have developed during my tenure.Visa-free travel since 2007 has certainly been a factor. Our cooperation has grown beyond trade and the arts, to cover areas such as comparative electoral systems and mechanisms to fight drug-trafficking.In the cultural sphere, the spirit of Mexican expression has been welcomed here again and again. Just last week, on September 6, we inaugurated a month-long simultaneous showing of 5 distinct exhibits at the National Library of Romania.These include reproductions of ancient Mesoamerican objects, water-colors, mural images from a 16th century chapel, 62 black and white photographs covering the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution, and the audiovisual series ‘Soul of Mexico’introduced by the recently deceased Carlos Fuentes around the main themes: pre-Columbian times, the colonial period, the struggle for independence and the present-day.This wide-ranging series of exhibits remainsopen to the public.On the economic front, we seek to become an important player in Romania’s continued development. Mexico’s gross domestic product of $1.16 trillion in 2011 places us as the 14th largest economy, between APEC partners Australia and South Korea. In terms of purchasing power parity, Mexico is the 11th largest economy in the world, just below OECD partners France and Italy. Throughout our G-20 presidency and the summit meeting held in Los Cabos, Baja California last June, Mexico has tried to contribute sensibly to repair world imbalances and to enhance the IMF’s ability to bridge financial crises.In the first semester of 2012 our economy grew 4.3%. Exporting $349.6 billion worth of mainly manufactures in 2011, Mexico derived slightly under 30% of its GDP from exports. From January to June 2012, our economy registered $9.6 billion in new foreign direct investment. Our public debt stands at a relatively low 32% of GDP.Mexico maintains a network of 11 free-trade agreements covering 43 countries representingmore than 60% of world GDP. Among others, this includes NAFTA, a free trade agreement with the European Union, and the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan. We are the main exporter of 32 industrial products (especially electric motors, generators, motor vehicles, refrigerators, freezers, tractors)and 16 agricultural commodities (mostly avocados, grapes, peppers, tomatoes). Mexico is the world’s largest producer of smartphones, the largest exporter of television sets, the second exporter of refrigerators and seventh of personal computers.Stemming from a unique combination of natural geographical beauty, a rich cultural heritage and modern cosmopolitan life, Mexico ranks fifth in the world and first in the Americas with its 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; in 2007 it was the 10thmost visited country with 21.4 million international arrivals. World-renownMexican cuisine has also attained UNESCO status, as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’ Who can imagine a world without such native species as avocado, beans, chili pepper, cocoa, corn, peanut, tomato, turkey and vanilla? Enjoying the flavors, fragrances and texture of authentic Mexican dishes is, more than ever, an opportunity to experience my country in the closest possible way.An enviablyendowed land, Romania entails strategic importance in diversifying our economic relations with Europe, building on the synergies of our excellent relations which are being continuously strengthened.


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