Mexico Australia relationship.

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 14, 1966. The relationship has been characterized by being friendly and cordial, having mechanisms for political dialogue at the highest level given that since 2002 political consultation meetings have been held at the level of deputy foreign ministers. The last meeting took place in November 2019, which has given continuity to the political dialogue and has allowed to identify new areas of collaboration. Between 2013 and 2017, the president of Mexico met seven times with Australian prime ministers. In 2016, the then Governor General of Australia, Peter Cosgrove, made a state visit to Mexico, this being the first by a Governor General to Mexico, an opportunity that was used to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In the multilateral sphere, both countries maintain a close and solid relationship and coincide in various international forums, such as the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the G20, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), the MIKTA group (made up of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia), among others. Mexico and Australia share topics of interest on the multilateral agenda, in particular, climate change, disarmament, human rights, trade liberalization, combating transnational organized crime and terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, and they work together in the aforementioned forums. On international security issues, they are partners in groups such as Wassenaar (conventional weapons), the Australia Group (chemical and biological) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

In the framework of the MIKTA initiative, in which Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia participate, the foreign ministers or their representatives have met annually in the context of the different international forums to coordinate joint positions. Thus, their representatives have met on different occasions, the last being the 18th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the MIKTA member countries that took place by videoconference, at the beginning of February 2021. A meeting in which the countries proposed themselves as part of their agenda to review MIKTA activities during Korean coordination, identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration, and hand over coordination to Australia for the next 12 months.

The five countries agreed that MIKTA has increased its visibility in multilateral forums and agreed to take advantage of this momentum to continue promoting cooperation during 2021, when Australia is responsible for coordinating the group. In this sense, the topics on which they will focus their attention and efforts have to do with: Covid-19 health, economic and environmental aspects related to response and recovery; vaccine distribution; strengthening of the international health architecture and preparation for future pandemics; gender equality and climate change. Through this mechanism, the member countries maintain coordination between their permanent missions to international organizations, as well as between their embassies and the private sector, civil society and academia of each country, promoting these priorities with initiatives and actors at the local level.

Parliamentary relationship. There is a friendly and cordial relationship between the parliamentarians of both nations, which has gained tremendous momentum and contributed significantly to strengthening the ties both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

Mexico and Australia have been dialogue partners in various parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Conference on Environment and Development (APPCED) and the World Parliamentary Forum (WPF).

Bilaterally, the most critical meetings include: in May 2007 and 2009, delegations from the Australian Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Committee visited Mexico. Likewise, in June 2007 and 2008, Senators and Deputies from the Mexican Congress visited Australia.

In January 2014, an Australian parliamentary delegation participated in the 22nd Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In September 2014, Australia hosted the First Australia-Latin America Parliamentary Dialogue, attended by Senators Teófilo Torres Corzo, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations - Asia Pacific, and Manuel Cavazos Lerma, a Committee's member.

In 2015, Senator Gabriela Cuevas visited Australia to participate in the 2nd Australia-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Parliamentary Meeting. In that same year, the Australian Senate approved a study that analysed Mexico's bilateral relationship with Australia, proposing mechanisms to strengthen the relationship in its different areas. About 40 governmental, academic and private institutions participated. The Mexican Embassy participated with a document on the bilateral relationship. The study concluded with 13 recommendations, several of which have been endorsed by the Australian government. Amongst them includes the possibility of establishing direct air connectivity, work to achieve mutual recognition of studies and facilitate visa processing (Australia’s relationship with Mexico).

In 2016 and under the auspices of MIKTA, Senator Ana Gabriela Guevara and Deputy Alejandra Reynoso visited Australia to participate in the 2nd Meeting of Presidents of Legislative Chambers of MIKTA (informe).

In June 2017, Senator Marcela Torres, invited by the Australian Foreign Ministry, travelled to Australia. In the same year, Senator Gabriela Cuevas was elected to chair the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with the support of Australia.

In September 2018, four Australian parliamentarians headed by Nola Marino, coordinator of the ruling party in the lower house, visited Mexico and met with the Senate's President, Martí Batres, and other congress members.

In January 2020, a delegation of Mexican parliamentarians attended the 28th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) held in Canberra. They had a bilateral meeting with the members of the Australia-Mexico friendship group of the Australian parliament.

Business relationship. In 2018, Mexico consolidated its position as Australia's leading trading partner in Latin America, with bilateral trade of USD 1 billion 567 million, which meant an increase of 20% over the previous year. Not only did Mexico represented more than 40% of all Australian trade to Latin America, but Australia imported more from Mexico than all of Latin America combined. This situation reflects the enormous growth potential that exists between the two countries.

From the Australian perspective, the composition of trade, according to DFAT (DFAT) in the period 2017-18 (from July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018), had a 25% increase in imports from Mexico and a 27% decrease in Australian exports to Mexico. Likewise, the average growth of bilateral trade was 9% in the last ten years. At the same time, Mexico accounted for 72% of Australian trade with the Pacific Alliance and 2.4% of its commerce with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) countries. Mexico and Australia are complementary. They are well-positioned in their regions and connected as Pacific nations. Both are members of the G20 and the CPTPP. In the near future, they could also be partners in the Pacific Alliance.

In 2019, total trade between the two countries experienced a decline, reaching $ 1 billion 358 million due to decreased Mexican exports.

In 2020, total trade was $ 1 billion 268.1 million, with a further reduction of 6.6% compared to 2019. Even so, Mexico still registered a trade surplus. Mexican exports amounted to one billion dollars. The trade surplus was $731.9 million.

Mexico imported $268.1 million from Australia, placing it as Mexico's 36th trading partner worldwide and 13th among Asia-Pacific countries. In 2020, Australia was also the 22nd destination for Mexican exports globally and the 6th place in Asia-Pacific. Mexico and Australia are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TIPAT / CPTPP) that entered into force on December 30, 2018. This agreement represents an opportunity to further deepening trade and investment ties between the two countries.

The slowdown in bilateral trade in the last two years was mainly due to the reduction in Mexican imports from Australia, which registered a decrease of 23.7% in 2020. Due to the economic downturn and the tourism sector contraction, Mexico reduced the demand for fillets and other meat of sea bass (astromerluza antártica) and black sea bass (astromerluza negra), sheep and goats meat cuts, sands, copper oxides and hydroxides, and electrical or electronic level control and measurement devices. Mexican exports to Australia also fell, although in a more moderate way (0.7%).

In 2020, the main export products from Mexico to Australia were ostrich or stingray tanned leather; yokes castings for use on the driving rear axle; wired cloths; and knitted and dyed fabrics. Mexico also imported Ilmenite (mineral), measuring geodetic distances devices; beans, wool, and electrical or electronic level measurement and control devices.

In this context, and considering the strengths and needs of both countries, there are sectorial exporting opportunities for Mexican companies. Particularly noteworthy are digital processing units; automatic machines for processing digital data; refrigerator-freezer combinations; machinery parts for air conditioning; equipment for filtering or purifying gases; medical, surgical or veterinary instruments; and automotive components and tractors.

In the agricultural sector, malt beer is a significant export opportunity. In 2019, its exports amounted to $ 78,385 million. Tequila is another attractive spirit. Its consumption in Australia has increased rapidly, amounting to $ 9.549 million in 2019 and almost doubling to $ 16,639 million in October 2020. According to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), Australia ranked sixth among the ten leading importers of tequila in the world. Other spirits, such as mezcal, have also been widely accepted in the Australian market.

Likewise, in the agri-food trade, there are opportunities for some fresh and processed products. Mexico already exports garlic, asparagus, table grapes, mangoes and dates to Australia, and Persian lemon is under phytosanitary analysis. Other priority products are avocado, pork meat, and irradiated guava.

Australian investment in Mexico. According to data from the Ministry of Economy, between 1999 and 2017 the accumulated Australian direct investment in Mexico was 2,858 million US dollars, mainly in the construction sectors (67%), manufacturing industries (8%); real estate and rental services (8%); mining (6%); mass media information (6%); others (5%).

In December 2016, the Australian company BHP won a tender to jointly exploit the Trion field in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico with PEMEX with a 60% stake as project operator. According to estimates by the Ministry of Energy of Mexico, it was projected that there would be an investment of up to US $ 11 billion USD,000 million during the life of the contract, which was of 50 years. As of 2017, around 185 Australian companies operated in Mexico and Australia was positioned as the sixth largest source of investment in Mexico.

Bilateral cooperation. In the field of scientific and technical cooperation, both countries are complementary and face common challenges. In this sense, an important legal infrastructure has been built that serves as a platform for deepening educational links and technical and scientific cooperation. In this regard, the Basic Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation (1981) and the Memorandum of Understanding between the SEP and the Australian Department of Education (2008) give legal support to the relationship in this area. To date, there are more than 100 formal agreements between 37 Mexican institutions and 22 Australian universities. For its part, CONACYT has agreements with 8 Australian universities and has financed more than 150 Mexican master's and doctoral students in Australian institutions.

Scientific and technical cooperation. between the two countries is fundamentally structured through productive collaborations between researchers. This cooperation involved, between 2015 and 2018, more than 3,100 Australian researchers working with Mexican researchers who together generated more than 1,800 publications. According to the Australian Department of Industry and Innovation, the main cooperation topics were: Medicine (20%), Agriculture and Biology (12.3%), Astronomy and Physics (12.8%), Biochemistry and Genetics (9.1%) and Science Environmental (6.2%). Bilateral cooperation in science and technology has a strong potential for growth, particularly as the joint committee meeting established between the two countries is held in the near future, which would allow to give a greater boost to the relationship and in turn take advantage of the existing collaboration between universities.

Cultural relationship. Between 2012 and 2018, the Mexican Embassy in Australia has organized or participated in multiple cultural promotion events in Mexico. Through these, it seeks to promote its historical wealth and current gastronomic culture. Among the most important cultural events held in Australia are: The great exhibition "Aztecas" (2014) in the museums of Melbourne and the Australian Museum in Sydney, respectively; the traveling exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2016), the photographic exhibition at the headquarters of the Australian Chancellery commemorating the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations (2016), the exhibition on Mexican Modernism in Photography at the National Gallery of Australia (2017), and the exhibition on Contemporary Art inspired by Mexico City at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne (2018).

Likewise, Mexico participates in cultural festivals organized each year in Canberra in which Latin American embassies are present, such as: The Multicultural Festival, which brings together more than 300 thousand people; the Latin American Gastronomic Festival; and the Latin American Film Festival, which runs through more than a dozen cities in Australia. Additionally, the Embassy organizes year after year, the traditional "Day of the Dead" in its facilities and supports the organization and participation of the Mexican community and artistic groups in multiple events in the city of Canberra.

Mexican community. The Mexican community in Australia is relatively small, but constantly growing. According to official figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2000, there were 1,270 registered Mexicans residing in Australia, while in 2018, the number of Mexicans (born in Mexico) in Australia amounted to 6,770, which represented a growth of almost six times. According to the 2019 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) approximately 7,420 Mexicans in Australia are estimated to be living in Australia, integrating various associations in the different states of the country.

The Mexican population in Australia is mostly concentrated in the main cities of Australia, with Sydney and Melbourne at the fore, making up approximately 50% of the total. Followed by Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Tasmania. It is also characterized by being mostly young and highly qualified professionals who work for Australian companies. According to the census published by the statistics office (ABS) in 2016, the average age of the total Mexican population living in Australia is 34 years with 47.8% being women while the other 52.9% are men. The main occupational profiles are: students, electronics and systems engineers, communications specialists, graphic designers, and homemakers.

It is important to note that even before the COVID 19 pandemic, the number of Mexicans who came to Australia to study increased according to figures from the Department of Education. From January to December 2018, the number of Mexican students in Australia amounted to 2,629, while during the first half of 2019 the figure had already reached 2,168. Most of the students were concentrating on language study and postgraduate studies, staying in Australia for an average of three months to two years.

Given the sociability of the Mexican and the ease of communication, the community has formed groups through social networks, such as those in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Where there are various groups of Mexicans who carry out professional, business, community and social activities.

In order to communicate with the Mexican community in Australia, the Embassy regularly distributes circulars that address different topics regarding the carrying out of mobile consulates, requirements for obtaining consular documentation, information on voting abroad, assistance to citizens facing family violence, consent in sexual matters, and others.

Part of the activities carried out by the Embassy in favour of the Mexican community, with the support of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME), there are:

  • Diffusion of the bases and calls for the annual children's drawing contest.
  • Encouragement of the participation of members of the Global Network of Mexican Talents.
  • Distribution of the bases and call for the annual award of the “Distinguished Mexican” and Ohtli Recognition established by the IME in 2018.
  • Promoting the celebration of the "Global Week" which consists of the organization and registration of various community activities in Australia, among which the celebration of the Day of the Dead stands out.

Mexican Associations in Australia:

Victoria

 

 

South Australia

 

  • Mexican Social and Cultural Association of South Australia Incorporated (MexSA)

 

Australian Capital Territory

 

  • Mexico Lindo

 

Western Australia

 

 

Latin American associations in Australia:

 

 

Legal framework. Both countries have a broad legal framework made up of agreements, treaties, memoranda of understanding, and inter-institutional agreements, including:

Legal framework

  • Basic Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation. It entered into force on March 4, 1982, with a duration of five years, renewable. Español / English.
  • Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. In force since June 30, 1992. Español / English.
  • Agreement for Cooperation in the Use of Nuclear Energy and Transfer of Nuclear Material. In force since July 17, 1992. Español / English.
  • Agreement to Avoid Double Taxation and Prevent Tax Evasion regarding Income Tax. In force since December 31, 2003. Español / English.
  • Agreement on Air Services. It entered into force on May 13, 2011. The Government of Australia submitted to ICAO for registration on July 8, 2019, the Air Services Agreement between that country and the Government of the United Mexican States, signed in the city of Mexico on April 9, 2010. Español / English.
  • General and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The CPTPP was signed by the 11 countries on March 8, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. The CPTPP went into effect on December 30, 2018 for: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore; and January 14, 2019 for Vietnam. https://www.gob.mx/tratado-de-asociacion-transpacifico It should be noted that this opens the door to a resizing of the economic-commercial relationship since it is the first free trade agreement between both countries.

 

Memorandum of Understanding

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Political Consultations (2009) Español.
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Education, Research and Vocational Training. (2015) Español.
  • Memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation between the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the Australian Academy of Sciences. (2015). English.
  • Memorandum of Cooperation between the EUM Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit and the Australian Department of Home Affairs through the Australian Border Force on Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters (June 2018). Español.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of the Interior of the United Mexican States and the Australian Federal Police on the development of police cooperation. (2018). Español & English.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Geoscience Australia and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of the United Mexican States, (2019). Español / English.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples of the United Mexican States and the Australian Institute of Studies on Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders of the Commonwealth of Australia (February 2020). Español / English.

 

In negotiation

  • Memorandum of Understanding for the Exchange of Experiences between the Australian Federal Police and the Attorney General's Office.