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March 2, 2021



Today we celebrate our National Day while commemorating the 79th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Romania.
Although our first formal contact dates back to 1880, when Mexican President Porfirio Díaz welcomed the independence of Romania in a letter to King Carol I, cultural exchange created other earlier bonds with deep social consequences, such as the introduction of Mexican maize to Romanian principalities in the seventeenth century. Today, maize is one of Romania’s main agricultural products and ‘mamaliga’, a fundamental dish of Romanian cuisine.
Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, several high-level visits occurred and an incipient institutional framework to promote trade and cooperation has been created. However, it was during the 90’s that our relationship experienced a renewed impetus, as both Romania and Mexico went through internal changes and strove to adjust to the shifting international geopolitics. Above all, both countries integrated regionally and consolidated democracy, while seeking to achieve economic progress through an open market economy.
Our diplomatic relations have continued to make progress under the direction of our Ministers of Foreign Affairs. With a view to further boosting the political-diplomatic dialogue, they have met three times in the last two years and they are committed to meet again.
On a multilateral level, we continue to increase our role in helping to solve global and regional problems. Both agree on important issues of the global agenda, from the need to reform the United Nations to climate change, from disarmament to human rights.
Also we underscored the importance of collaboration between the two Parliaments, at the level of Romania-Mexico Friendship Groups. A visit to Mexico this year has been agreed in principle.
On the bilateral level, Mexico and Romania have a solid legal basis to promote economic, commercial, cultural, educational, tourist, scientific and technological cooperation. Among the agreements in force between Mexico and Romania, I should highlight one of tourism, one for technical and scientific cooperation; another one on education, culture, youth and sports, recently renewed on the 23rd of May; as well as one to fight drug trafficking and another one to prevent double taxation and tax evasion.
The Mexican-Romanian diplomatic relationship has developed a bond of friendship and mutual understanding. Mexico and Romania are privileged partners through several institutional frameworks in place between Mexico and the European Union: the Global Agreement which includes a Free Trade Agreement, in place since 2000, the Strategic Partnership, in place since 2008, and its Joint Executive Plan, in place since 2010.
Since the entry of Romania into the European Union, under the Mexico-EU Free Trade Agreement, trade between Mexico and Romania has increased about 300%. The amount of total trade between the two countries during 2013 was almost USD$400 million. About 50 per cent of our trade is centered on auto-parts.
However, the economic relationship is far from the potential of two open market economies with geostrategic locations and thriving deregulatory markets.
On one hand, Romania is a member of the European Union with a strategic role in the Black Sea region and is a bridge to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Mexico, on the other hand, is at the core of a network of 13 Free Trade Agreements with 44 countries, in particular with the North American market and the Pacific Alliance.
Under the leadership of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s Congress has just approved 11 structural reforms in the past 20 months, among which stands out a comprehensive reform in the energy sector, which will allow private companies to participate in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas.
Therefore, I am confident that with the political will and efforts driven by both governments, we will boost trade and investments, taking advantage of opportunities in sectors such as energy, automotive and information technology.
I mentioned earlier that there’s Latin affinity between Mexico and Rumania. This affinity is enriched through culture, which in turn promotes mutual knowledge and increases understanding.
The poems of Mihail Eminescu, the sculptures of Constantin Brancusi and the compositions of George Enescu are part of the Romanian legacy to humanity as we Mexicans have contributed with the murals of Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros, the paintings of Rufino Tamayo and Frida Kahlo, the prose of Carlos Fuentes and the poems of Octavio Paz, who was born 100 years ago. From the Danube Delta to the Wooden Churches of Bucovina, Romania is filled with awe-inspiring sites inscribed in the World Heritage Site List. Mexico too has many sites on this list, among which we have recently added Calakmul, an ancient Mayan city hidden deep within the tropical forests of Campeche.
In order to further this cultural exchange, we have developed an extensive program of cultural diplomacy to bring the people in both our countries a sample of our cultures.
This year, in order to promote the image of Mexico, we are organizing the Mexican Cultural Week dedicated to the state of Oaxaca, from 22 to 29 of October, at the Peasant Museum and the Village Museum, with the support of the Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs and the government of Oaxaca.
I would like to thank Dr. Marius Sala, Vicepresident of the Academia Român_ for donating to the UNAM, the most prestigious university in Mexico, the Dictionary of Romanian Language, a monumental work of 19 volumes. Also, we signed an education agreement with the Mexico Lyceum in Bucharest to provide books in Spanish for the students and other didactic tools in order to help to have a better understanding of Mexican culture, history and literature.
We all know that there is no better way to learn about a country than experiencing it by first hand. In 2012, more than 3,000 Mexicans visited Romania and more that 10,000 Romanians traveled to Mexico. In this regard, we have been working to increase the flow of visitors on both sides. We have participated in Tourism Fairs in Romania and Europe, as well as met representatives of the major travel agencies in order to promote Mexico as a tourist destination, especially the Mayan Riviera.
We have achieved considerable progress, but we still have a long way ahead of us. Independence in the XXI century does not mean separation; it means a higher degree of integration through trade, cooperation and friendship.
Today, on the occasion of the 204th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, I vow to strengthen even more the bonds between Mexico and Romania.
Viva Mexico!
Viva Romania!

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