MEXICO CITY — Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said that Mexico and the European Union (EU) will hold the first round of talks to modernize their free trade agreement mid-June.
There will be special attention given to creating agreements about electronic trade, intellectual property, environmental protection, public contracts among other things.
There will also be a discussion about labor rights, human rights and corruption.
Guajardo Villarreal noted that the current agreement was the first of its kind signed by the EU with a country from the American continent in the year 2000.
The objective of the talk is to adapt to new challenges that have arisen since 2000 and bring the agreement in line with free trade agreements between the EU and Canada, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, as well as the agreement that is being negotiated with the U.S.
“Our goal is a comprehensive agreement,” said Guajardo Villarreal.
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Maelström said that the bilateral agreement “makes all the sense in the world.”
“Many things have changed in the EU [since 2000] and Mexico has also developed and become one of the most dynamic emerging economies in the world,” she said.
Maelström is confident that modernization will create opportunities for European companies in Mexico, especially small- and medium-sized companies.
Both Guajardo Villarreal and Malström called attention to the success of their bilateral relations since the signing of the original agreement, which caused commercial exchange between the two entities to increase more than 250 percent, ending at a volume of over $62 billion in 2015.
During the same period, the EU consolidated its status as the principal foreign investor in Mexico, responsible for close to 40 percent of foreign investment.