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Media 112116 Peņa Nieto

Monday, November 21, 2016

President Enrique Peña Nieto: 'Mexicans are more than Neighbors, we are Partners, Allies and Friends'

Office of the Mexican Presidency

At the official residence of Los Pinos, where he received members of the Paley Center participating in the 21st Annual Meeting of the International Council Summit, the first to be held in a Latin American country, President Enrique Peña Nieto told the leaders of the world's most influential media: “As more people, particularly from the United States, get to know Mexico and its people better, they will understand that Mexicans are more than neighbors, we are partners, allies and friends.”

Accompanied by his wife, Angelica Rivera de Peña, the president said that, “Today we are fortunate that you have chosen Mexico for the Paley International Council Summit. This is a great opportunity for the directors of the world’s most influential and innovative media to learn more about our extraordinary country, he said.

He said that Mexico is a country that has “Enjoyed 82 years of peaceful, orderly power-switching, which testifies to our strong democratic life.” He added that, “This is the fifteenth largest global economy and currently the main driver of economic growth in Latin America; with two decades of macroeconomic stability, sound public finances and a strong banking system.”

He added that in the late 1980s, “Mexico made the decision to open its trade to the world. We gradually became consolidated as a market economy. Today we are the seventh largest producer of cars worldwide, the largest producer of flat TV screens, and we have an aviation industry growing at double digit rates.”

The president said that, “Despite these achievements and strengths, by the end of the 20th century it was clear that important institutions and sectors of the economy had fallen behind in our country.”

Therefore, he stressed, “To break the logjam, four years ago we formed a great agreement with the main political forces. This agreement, known as the Pact for Mexico, resulted in 13 Structural Reforms to expand the social rights of the population, strengthen our institutional regime, and increase the competitiveness of our economy.”

To illustrate the importance of this reform, the president highlighted three of the structural reforms: Education, Telecommunications, and Energy. “The key to achieving these structural changes, postponed for decades, was dialogue between the political forces,” he said.

Dialogue will also be the way to achieve a new stage in relations between Mexico and the United States. This will undoubtedly be the start of an era of new challenges, but also, and this is what I would like to stress, great opportunities to find new paths to cooperation and shared prosperity.”

“It cannot be any other way: the bilateral relationship is so deep that it goes beyond the relationship between governments. With over a million legal border crossings every day, we share the busiest border in the world, linking ten states in two countries inhabited by over 95 million people,” he said.

The president recalled a phrase from former US Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State James Baker: "The United States has no more important relationship than the one with its neighbor and friend, Mexico.”

He said throughout the United States, “The 35 million people of Mexican origin, of which only a third are migrants, contribute daily, through their work and creativity, to the development and welfare of both nations. In addition, our economies have been increasingly integrated through the Free Trade Agreement over the past 22 years.”

He explained that, “Mexico is the second destination of US exports. Apart from what it sells to the UK, which will soon exit the European Union, Mexico buys more from the US than all the European countries together. It also buys more from the US than BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together.”

It is, he continued, “A very balanced business relationship, but above all, with great synergies, since the United States and Mexico produce together to sell to the rest of the world.”

Few people know this, he added, “But on average exports from Mexico to the United States consist of 40 percent of inputs produced in the United States; that is, 40 cents of every dollar we export has US content, made by jobs created in the United States. In fact, over 6 million jobs in the United States are estimated to depend directly on trade with Mexico.”

“We therefore hope that bilateral dialogue, guided by optimism, pragmatism and respect for the sovereignty of both countries, will remain the best way to forge a shared future,” he said.

The mission of the Paley Center, named in honor of William S. Paley, a radio and television pioneer and the creator of what became CBS in the United States, is to lead the discussion about the cultural, creative and social significance of television, radio and emerging platforms for communication professionals and the public interested in the media.

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Presidency of the Republic, Nov. 16, 2016, Mexico, DF; translation Presidency of the Republic

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