Press release

UK and Mexico celebrate closer economic and academic ties during Mexico State Visit

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Trade between the UK and Mexico is enjoying double-digit growth, with bilateral trade in 2013 at £3.3 billion, up by 15% compared to 2012.

  • British carmakers Lotus and McLaren target Mexico for exports
  • Hamley’s to open first store in Mexico
  • new UK Export Finance $1 billion credit facility will also open up opportunities for UK exporters
  • Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Treaty between the UK and Mexico to be signed

British luxury carmakers Lotus and McLaren are to open showrooms in Mexico City as part of a drive to increase sales in the country and wider region as the economy returns to growth. Iconic toy brand Hamley’s has also chosen Mexico as its first foray into Latin America, joining other well-known British brands like Thomas Pink and Hackett London.

The announcements come as the UK this week welcomes the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, for a State Visit on 3 to 5 March as part of the 2015 Dual Year of the UK in Mexico and Mexico in the UK. This builds on the visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Mexico last November 2014.

Trade between the UK and Mexico is enjoying double-digit growth, with bilateral trade in 2013 at £3.3 billion, up by 15% compared to 2012. Mexico is the UK’s fourth largest market for goods exports, and the UK is Mexico’s fifth largest inward investor. This makes Mexico the UK’s second largest trading partner in Latin America, only behind Brazil.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Mexico is an important growth market for our exports and British firms can also use Mexico as a base for wider operations throughout Latin America. Mexico is returning to the Formula One calendar this year which will fuel interest in McLaren and Lotus cars and British manufacturing more generally.

The arrival of British toy store Hamley’s in Mexico City, to complement their existing stores around the world, is another sign of the appeal of British brands across the globe, and demonstrates how an introduction by UKTI can lead to great things.

British exporters to Mexico will be further boosted by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between UK Export Finance and PEMEX, Mexico’s state-run fuel conglomerate in respect of a line of credit of up to $1 billion. This finance is intended to be used by PEMEX and its subsidiaries to buy services from UK exporters, including SMEs.

Alongside the commercial announcements, the government also confirmed a Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Treaty between the UK and Mexico would be signed to support higher education collaboration and create opportunities for valuable research and innovation. Knowing that these overseas qualifications will be recognised domestically will make studying abroad more attractive and will lead to increased student and academic mobility between the two countries, and stronger high quality research. Mexico is the first country in Latin America to agree mutual recognition with the UK and can pave the way for further collaboration between the UK and other Latin American countries.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said:

We want the UK to be the number one destination for science and research which is why we welcome the best and brightest brains from around the world. This treaty will allow us to work closely with Mexico to push boundaries together and deliver exciting, innovative projects and opportunities for both countries.

2015 has been designated The Year of the UK in Mexico and Mexico in the UK, and comprises an exciting programme of over 200 events throughout the year to celebrate the best of the arts and creative industries in both countries. These include the English National Ballet performing at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Mexico under the direction of renowned Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra. The return of Formula One to Mexico in November 2015 will be preceded by events showcasing the UK’s expertise in motorsport and advanced engineering design.

Notes to Editors

  1. From 2012 to 2013, bilateral trade between the UK and Mexico increased from £2.8 billion to £3.3 billion, an increase of 15%. Bilateral trade is the sum of imports and exports into each country (source: ONS Pink Book 2014).
  2. Since 2010, UK goods exports to Mexico have increased by 39% to £1.16 billion (source: ONS Pink Book 2014). 3.Since 2010, UK services exports to Mexico have increased by 56% to £830 million (source: ONS Pink Book 2014).
  3. During the State Visit, the Mexican President will give an address at the Houses of Parliament, attend a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, and attend meetings with the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister.
  4. To find out more about The Year of the UK in Mexico and Mexico in the UK events, please visit www.ukmexico.mx
  5. In 2013, there were 108,000 visitors to the UK from Mexico, and they spent £62 million in the UK – an increase of 44%.