President Jacob G. Zuma is scheduled to undertake a visit to the United Mexican States from 8-10 December 2010 aimed at deepening bilateral relations between the two countries and forging ways of working more closely on multilateral issues such as the United Nations and its member institutions.
The President will hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart, President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. South Africa will host COP17 in Durban in 2011.
During the visit, agreements in the area of crime and justice are expected to be signed. President Zuma will participate in a Leaders Dialogue aimed at looking at actions that governments must take to move forward on a global agenda on climate change.
President Calderon attended the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was his first visit to South Africa and set the tone for increased bilateral interactions between the two countries. This followed Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit to Mexico in April 2010 for the first Bi-national Commission (BNC) which established areas of cooperation between the two countries
Mexico is South Africa’s third largest trading partner in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina and South Africa is Mexico’s largest trading partner in Africa. Trade between the two countries has been growing at a steady pace since the early 1990s after Mexico lifted its ban on trade with South Africa. Trade between the two countries exceeded R3.5 billion in 2009 – with the trade balance of R1.2 billion in favour of Mexico.
Mexican exports to SA include, amongst other products, wheeled tractors, nuclear reactors, machinery and equipment, boilers, paper and paperboards, metal ores and slag and ashes, organic chemical products, beverages, vinegar and spirits, glass and glassware, smelting, iron and steel. SA’s exports to Mexico include; cereals, raw hides and skins, leather, spirits, aluminium and articles thereof, tanning and dying extracts, vehicles, automobiles, tractors, products of chemicals and related industries.
President Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms M Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Water and Environment Affairs, BE Molewa; Minister of Energy, Ms D Peters; South Africa’s Ambassador to Mexico, Mr M Mbete; and senior government officials.