MEXICO CITY, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) — China’s first-ever import expo, scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, is an opportunity for Mexican exporters and export promotion agencies to strengthen trade ties with the Asian giant, local market analysts have told Xinhua.
“We should focus not just on the sale of traditional products like apparel or food, but also try to sell different kinds of services, especially online-based services,” said Jorge Sanchez Tello, head of applied research at the Financial Studies Fund of Mexico’s Autonomous Technological Institute.
In the lead up to the China International Import Expo (CIIE), China’s embassy in Mexico has said the trade fair is designed to do more than satisfy the growing demand of Chinese consumers, Sanchez said.
It aims to spur China’s ongoing process of opening-up to the world and show its willingness to share its development gains with other countries, Sanchez added.
Mexico and China raised bilateral ties to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2013, and China has become Mexico’s second-biggest trade partner, after the United States.
Bilateral trade and investment have picked up in recent years, with Chinese and Mexican businesses successfully venturing into each other’s markets.
While Mexico has a trade deficit with China, that’s not necessarily “a bad thing,” said Sanchez, noting some Chinese imports fulfill a need for competitively priced goods in Mexico.
In addition, he said, the CIIE serves to address exactly this type of trade imbalance, by making it easier for international companies to meet and greet Chinese importers, and showcase their products.
“We shouldn’t see the deficit the way (U.S. President) Donald Trump does, as a bad thing. We take advantage of the opportunity to trade with China to bring better-priced products. And hopefully Mexican business owners will see this (trade fair) as an opportunity to diversify trade more,” said Sanchez.
Mexico has been invited as a guest of honor at the CIIE and it is organizing its representation accordingly, with federal and state officials, as well as business-sector representatives comprising a delegation heading to Shanghai.
The fair is taking place just weeks before a new administration takes over the reins in Mexico when president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is sworn in on Dec. 1.
Lopez has noted he would strengthen ties with China, and the CIIE presents a perfect opportunity, said Mexican economist and China expert Enrique Dussel, who is a coordinator of the China-Mexico Studies Center at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM).
Dussel recommended Lopez send members of his future governing team to the fair to lay the groundwork for closer trade cooperation.
“Hopefully they will participate a month before they take office … to prepare as best they can, so as of Dec. 1 they are taking the steps needed to forge closer ties with China,” said Dussel.
About 80,000 Chinese and international companies have so far confirmed their participation in the event, which will include a trade forum attended by government leaders and representatives of international organizations.
Mexico and other Latin American countries are aware of the importance of attending the fair, said Mexican economist and twice ambassador to Beijing Eugenio Anguiano Roch.
China is a major importer, and “China’s economy demands a lot from the rest of the world,” said Roch, a research professor at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), a leading Mexican think tank.