Executive Intelligence Review


Mexicans Looking to China and the Belt and Road for Economic Development

March 11, 2019 (EIRNS)—“China looks forward to the participation of Mexico and other nations” in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in April, China’s ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi wrote in Heraldo de México yesterday.

How Mexico participates in that massive summit and the Belt and Road Initiative is a matter of hot discussion now.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the leadership of the Business Coordinating Council two days ago that Mexico is reviewing the “New Silk Road” project with China. “Mexico has not signed anything; as of now there is only an understanding,” he said, and continuing that it is under discussion, because it could be an opportunity, given the lack of investment taking place in Mexico.

The day before, the Mexican Senate hosted a forum called “The Two Sessions 2019: Despite the Distance, We Are Neighbors and Therefore Relations Are Getting Closer,” in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China this year. Mexican government officials (including the head of Policy Coordination at the Foreign Relations Ministry), lawmakers, academics, and businessmen spoke favorably on the possibilities opened by strengthening Mexican-Chinese economic cooperation, as did the heads of the Bank of China and the Industrial Bank of China in Mexico, the Economics Attaché at the Chinese Embassy and China Hoy magazine’s Director General for Latin America.

“Chinese Financial Institutions Bet on Investing in Mexico,” the Senate press office headlined its release on the event. It cited, amongst others, the report from the president of Bank of China Mexico that he had met with representatives from more than 10 top companies of China to encourage them to invest in Mexico, while the bank had helped more than 50 Mexican companies get their products into the Chinese market.

Xinhua reported the tantalizing suggestion raised at the forum by former Mexican Ambassador Sergio Ley López, that Mexico participate with China in specific projects in the fields of nanotechnology, high-conductivity materials, biotechnology, and space exploration, which would permit Mexico “to not only enjoy the benefits, but also exploit the results of this research.”

Another wire today by Xinhua on the discussion of Mexico getting in on the BRI cites the report by a leading Economics Ministry official during the last government, Maria Cristina Hernandez, that from what she has heard, “there is a good disposition towards our getting much closer to China.” The best way to do so would be through the BRI, she argues. “Mexico should not stay out of the Belt and Road [which offers] investment in warehousing, ports, highways, railroads,” particularly because Mexico lacks a railroad network that is efficient.