President Enrique Peña Nieto met yesterday with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to explore trade and investment opportunities.
The two held their first-ever bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ninth BRICS summit meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, being held in Xiamen, China. Peña Nieto was invited to attend as a guest.
He and Putin agreed to continue working to broaden the economic relationship between the two countries.
Expanding contact between business people and strengthening economic ties were seen as priorities while Putin said that the work of the Russian-Mexican intergovernmental commission should be enhanced to set “a new course for our relations.”
Trade between Mexico and Russia was worth around US $2 billion last year, up 7.5% over the previous year, but has surged 38% in the first half of this year.
Peña Nieto said there was ample room for growth. “. . . the levels of trade are still very low in respect to the great potential our nations have to increase exchange and promote reciprocal investment.”
The two leaders also shared their views on the situations in Venezuela and the Korean peninsula as well as other regional and multilateral issues, according to a statement released by the president’s office.
Peña Nieto said the relationship between the two countries had always been maintained within the framework of respect and fraternity since the two established diplomatic ties in 1890.
The meeting with Putin came a day after Peña Nieto held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussing advances that have been made in areas of priority in the bilateral relationship, including trade, investment and tourism.
The entry of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China into the Mexican market in June 2016 and increased air connectivity between the two countries were both among the topics discussed.
The visit is Peña Nieto’s fourth to China and Monday’s meeting was his seventh with Xi Jinping.
Bilateral trade grew to $5.4 billion in 2016, up from $4.9 billion in 2015.
Mexico is seeking to diversify its trade relationships in the face of threats by the United States to pull out of NAFTA. The second round of renegotiation talks concluded in Mexico City yesterday.