PM builds stronger collaboration with Mexico

New Joint Action Plan and bilateral initiatives on air transport, youth and anti-crime capacity building to further strengthen close bilateral ties
Ottawa, Ontario
27 May 2010

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Canada and Mexico have agreed to greater cooperation on air transport, youth mobility and anti-crime capacity building.  The announcement took place during a visit to Ottawa by Felipe Calderón, President of the United Mexican States.

The two leaders also agreed to a Joint Action Plan that provides a framework for moving the relationship forward.

"We are setting the stage for the next decade of growth and cooperation between our two countries,” said Prime Minister Harper.  “The initiatives signed today demonstrate that we are deepening our relations in a wide number of areas that will benefit both our peoples.”

Initiatives signed by Canada and Mexico, which were witnessed by the two leaders, include:

An updated Air Transport Agreement: Amendments to the existing Bilateral Air Transport Agreement will provide airlines from both countries with greater market access for passenger, combination and all-cargo services and greater pricing flexibility.

A Memorandum Of Understanding on Youth Mobility which will promote travel by Canadian and Mexican youth in one another’s country for up to one year, stimulating personal and professional development; and,

A Joint Action Plan which outlines the priorities that both Governments are committed to working on in the years to come.

Canada and Mexico also announced several anti-crime capacity building projects that the Government of Canada will be undertaking to support Mexico’s robust and ongoing efforts to combat corruption and reform its legal system.  This includes training for Mexican judges and lawyers and a harmonization of Mexico’s criminal law.

Canada and Mexico share strong people-to-people links that continue to be a major benefit to both countries.  Over 20,000 Mexican temporary workers come to Canada each year.  In addition, approximately 12,000 Mexican students visited Canada in 2008.  More than 1.2 million Canadians visit Mexico annually and approximately 75,000 Canadian citizens live in Mexico.

Trade and investment ties between Canada and Mexico have grown several-fold since NAFTA came into force in 1994, contributing to increased prosperity and economic growth in both counties.  Canada and Mexico are now among each other’s largest trading partners, while Canada has become a major foreign investor in Mexico.  In 2009, two-way merchandise trade totalled $21.3 billion.  Canadian direct investment in Mexico was close to $4.9 billion at the end of 2009.