Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto personally drove India´s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a restaurant for a vegetarian dinner as a sign of special gesture. PM Modi was in Mexico City on June 8 for a brief working visit to seek Mexico´s support for India´s bid to become a member of the exclusive Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). At the joint press statement, both leaders agreed to develop and upgrade India-Mexico relations to a strategic partnership in the 21st century. They emphasized the need for greater cooperation in the areas of space, science and technology, renewable energy and global issues of mutual interests such as climate change.
“Mexico is an important partner for India’s energy security. We are now looking to move beyond a buyer-seller relationship, and into a long term partnership,” said PM Modi while thanking Mexico for its support to India’s membership to the NSG. Apart from traditional growth areas like Information Technology, pharmaceuticals, energy, and auto industries that drive commercial links between the two countries, both leaders agreed to prioritize concrete projects in the fields of agricultural research, biotechnology, waste management, disaster preparedness and management, and solar energy.
Mr. Modi arrived in Mexico City from Washington DC where he addressed a joint session of the Unites States Congress. Mexico City was the last destination in his whirlwind tour of 5-nations that also included Afghanistan, Qatar, and Switzerland. Prime Minister Modi invited President Peña Nieto to visit India at the earliest convenience, and the Mexican President reciprocated by inviting Mr. Modi for an official state visit to Mexico.
Although Mexico and India have many similarities, and the relations between the two countries have remained cordial, it has not reached its true potential. Mexico India bi-lateral trade currently stands at $6.4 billion USD – which is less than one percent of India’s total trade with the world. The business community from both countries is hoping that this visit will reinvigorate the relationship, and provide impetus to the meeting of the High Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation, which will be held in Mexico during the second half of 2016.
PM Modi ended his statement by quoting author and Nobel laureate Octavio Paz – Mexico’s ambassador to India during the nineteen sixties, who in his book “In light of India” wrote: “I can understand what it means to be an Indian because I am Mexican.” “Of course it is true other way too,” said Mr. Modi.
Following their joint press statement, President Peña Nieto drove PM Modi to ‘Quintonil’ – a restaurant known for its vegetarian dishes in Mexico City’s upscale Polanco district, where they bonded over a dinner of bean tacos.
About Author: Mr. Kunal Mahesh Raval is a director at IndMéx Group Private Limited – a consulting firm facilitating trade, investment and tourism between India and Mexico. Mr. Raval worked as an Electrical Engineer at San Diego, California based Qualcomm Inc. before joining IndMéx Group. He has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Missouri, USA. Follow him on Twitter: @kunal512