Bloomberg | 22 December 2009
Mexico Seeks Brazil Free-Trade Accord by 2012, Official Says
By Jens Erik Gould
Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) — Mexico’s government aims to sign a free-trade agreement with Brazil by the end of President Felipe Calderon’s administration in 2012, said Rogelio Granguillhome, head of economic relations at Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.
Calderon said in August that Mexico aims to strengthen commerce with Brazil and that officials from both countries, the largest economies in Latin America, would begin talks to increase investment and study a free-trade accord.
“A free-trade agreement between Mexico and Brazil is important not only for Mexico and Brazil but for all of Latin America,” Granguillhome said in an interview in Mexico City. “It will mark policy in Latin America for the next 20 years.”
Calderon’s government aims to strengthen economic relations with Latin America, Europe and Asia to reduce its dependence on the U.S., the destination for 80 percent of exports. Mexico’s economy shrank the most in Latin America in the first three quarters of the year as the U.S. recession dried up demand.
Gross domestic product will shrink about 7 percent this year, the most since the 1930s, according to the central bank.
The government will soon announce new investments by companies from Latin America, Europe and Asia, Granguillhome said, without identifying the businesses. Mexico aims to increase scientific, technological and educational agreements with other countries as well, Granguillhome said.