By Mexican Embassy in Australia.
2017 was yet another year of sincere friendship and intense cooperation in all fields for the bilateral relationship between Mexico and Australia. In the political arena, President Enrique Peña-Nieto and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held a meeting in the sidelines of the APEC Summit, in Da Nang, Viet Nam, and our Foreign Ministers, Luis Videgaray and Julie Bishop, met in the framework of the UN General Assembly. Australia´s Minister of Justice, Michael Keenan, visited Mexico to discuss bilateral cooperation, and to inaugurate a police attaché’s office at the Embassy in Mexico. Both foreign Ministries also held the second edition of the Bilateral Consultations Mechanism on Multilateral Issues, and both Mexico and Australia supported each other’s candidacies in different international bodies.
In the economic field, Mexico and Australia, along with other nations, advanced the negotiations to conclude free trade agreements, both in the frame of the TPP11 and the Pacific Alliance. Also, the structural reforms in Mexico facilitated greater Australian investment in our country. In March, BHP Billiton, and PEMEX, the Mexican oil company, signed a historic contract to jointly develop deep-water oil reserves out of the Gulf of Mexico, becoming the first foreign company to do so. In October, Minister of Commerce, Steve Ciobo, visited Mexico, accompanied by a large delegation of investors and Australian institutions, which held promotion events and met with the Mexican Secretaries of Economy and Energy. In November, the Undersecretary of Mining, Dr. Mario Alfonso Cantú, visited Melbourne to participate in the IMARC global mining conference.
In terms of cooperation, five young Mexican researchers participated in the Research Internship Program of the Department of Education. In addition, both countries advanced cooperation projects on the oyster industry and on monitoring the degradation of ecosystems, supported by the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies presented a cooperation project on indigenous issues and cultural exchange with Mexican institutions. Australia also kindly offered aid trough the Red Cross to the victims of the earthquakes that affected Mexico in September.
There was also intense activity in the cultural field. The Embassy participated in the Canberra Multicultural Festival, the 13th Canberra Latin American film festival at the ANU and the Latin American Gastronomic Festival, inaugurated by Minister Julie Bishop at the Hyatt Hotel. The Embassy of Mexico also sponsored presentations by the Mexican writer Yuri Herrera in Adelaide and Melbourne, the musical group "Mexrrissey" and the French-Mexican sculptor Claire Becker in the "Sculpture at Scenic World" festival, as well as the inauguration of a photographic exhibition dedicated to Mexican modernism in the National Gallery. The aboriginal artist Josh Muir visited Oaxaca to participate in a residence, sponsored by the Australian and the Mexican governments. Regarding people-to-people exchanges, Australian tourists to Mexico surpassed 77 thousand, and Mexican students in Australia exceeded 2,500, which makes Australia one of the main recipients of Mexican students worldwide.
It is possible to assert that the fluid political communication between Mexico and Australia, along with the current trade negotiations, the growing bilateral links in trade, investment, tourism, education, culture and technical cooperation are decisively contributing to round-up the strategic nature of the relationship between both countries.