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Australia, Mexico to explore FTA

Sydney Morning Herald

Australia, Mexico to explore FTA

January 7, 2006

Australia and Mexico will explore the viability of a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Foreign ministers Alexander Downer met Mexican counterpart Luis Ernesto Derbez in Mexico City, who said both countries would have to study whether such an accord would benefit their bilateral trade.

"In March we will have a meeting here of the bilateral economic committee, where we can talk about ... starting a strategy for considering a free trade agreement," Derbez told a news conference following the meeting.

He said that toward the end of 2006, government officials should have a better idea of the possibility of such an agreement, but that no deadline had been set for a decision.

Downer called it "a positive idea", noting "we are just talking about exploring both countries’ available options".

"If we were to negotiate a free trade accord, we would have to see what areas of our economy would benefit from such a pact," Downer said.

He predicted that "Mexico and Australia are going to become important (trading) partners".

 source: Sydney Morning Herald