President’s visit opens gateway to Latin America, says envoy

‘Lot of room to strengthen’ trade between Ireland and Mexico

Ambassador of Mexico, Carlos Garcia de Alba (right) pictured at the for the launch of November’s ‘A Taste of Mexico’ with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisin Quinn (left) and mariachi Antonio Garcia-Lopez. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Ambassador of Mexico, Carlos Garcia de Alba (right) pictured at the for the launch of November’s ‘A Taste of Mexico’ with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisin Quinn (left) and mariachi Antonio Garcia-Lopez. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

 

Mexico can be the gateway for Ireland to Latin America, according to Mexico’s ambassador to Ireland.

Ambassador Carlos García de Alba, who is in Mexico as President Michael D Higgins completes a three-day tour of the country, said trade between the two countries was growing and had “a lot of room to strengthen”.

“Latin America, and Mexico in particular, is a great option for Europe and especially for Ireland,” said Mr de Alba. “Mexico is by far Ireland’s main trading partner in Latin America. One needs to combine Ireland’s bilateral trade with Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru and Uruguay to match the amount of trade between Mexico and Ireland.”

In 2012, Mexico-Ireland bilateral trade amounted to almost €1 billion, he said, with Mexico and Ireland trading more goods than Ireland does with some of its partners in the European Union.

“We want to be an option for Irish companies,” said Mr de Alba. “Mexico wants to be the gateway for Ireland to Latin America and also to the huge and fast-growing Hispanic market in the United States, while we want Ireland to be an important bridge for us to Europe.”

Mr de Alba said it was time for both countries to foster “a closer, more productive” relationship. He described Mr Higgins’s visit to Mexico as a “brilliant step towards this goal”.