May 7, 2015
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy meets with Mexico Embassy in Beijing!
Today’s meeting pivoted from the trend of previous meetings on climate change, the USA, and human rights, to delve into a different policy area: Mexico-China relations. A meeting with Mexico’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Julian Ventura Valero, at the Mexican Embassy proved to be highly informative and pleasant.
I After consuming the Mexican coffee, cookies, and fruits that our hosts graciously provided, the Ambassador dove into a discussion of Mexico’s history with China. Having economies that rely on cheap labor, they compete heavily not only in the USA market but the international market as well. The most successful sector for Mexico is the auto parts and automotive industry. Mexico and China’s biggest exports in both directions are cars and auto parts, followed by electronics.
Besides trade, investment is a great issue for Mexico. China’s investments are tied to
commodities, but Mexico isn’t a commodity exporter and thus is not a fit for Chinese investment. Their investment in Mexico is very low, and the Ambassador explained how a mechanism or structure with the Chinese needs to be created in order to increase investment.
While much of the discussion revolved around economics, the Ambassador also discussed his views on how to most effectively work with the Chinese. He believes that the biggest obstacle for Mexico and the USA is that they think in the short term, and that they need to think more in the long term in order to achieve better results with China. This is difficult for both countries though because of the political cycles in the USA and Mexico. Additionally, Mexico and the USA tend to think more about big issues, like security and economics. It is very important to find areas for cooperation, such as energy, telecommunications, and education reforms. These can create new windows on how to engage with China.
~Paula O, MPP / MA