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Mexican envoy praises fruits of FTA

Japan Times

Mexican envoy praises fruits of FTA

Staff report

2 March 2006

Japan’s second free-trade agreement, the one with Mexico that is approaching its first anniversary, has been a big success with a 30 percent jump in bilateral trade, Mexican Ambassador Miguel Ruiz-Cabanas said Wednesday.

"The economic partnership agreement (that includes the FTA arrangements) has proved to Ruiz-Cabanas be a wise decision," Ruiz-Cabanas said during a visit to The Japan Times.

The FTA’s biggest effects have been in trade, boosting by 30 percent the total of Japan’s exports and imports vis-a-vis Mexico in the nine months since it took effect.

Japanese corporations’ direct investment has also seen a jump. In 2005, the investment was worth $ 1.1 billion, but the figures announced in the first two months of this year alone total $ 900 million, Ruiz-Cabanas said.

The FTA took effect last April 1, slashing tariffs and facilitating Japanese firms’ participation in public tenders in North America.

Effects of the treaty are now being felt in noneconomic fields too, in terms of expansion in political and cultural exchanges, the ambassador said.