Washington, D.C. Oct. 3rd, 2016
Good evening and welcome to the Mexican Cultural Institute.
As the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, I am very proud to receive such a distinguished community of Mexican business leaders and guests here in Washington, D.C.
This occasion could hardly be more timely. We come together to celebrate AEM’s 20 years of hard work and our shared dedication to build stronger ties between Mexico and the United States.
You proudly represent what can be achieved when we, as nations, develop a STRATEGIC ALLIANCE under the principles of friendship, partnership and mutual trust. The AEM is a fine example and a tribute to the integration and shared values of Mexico and the United States. I want to express my gratitude for your hard work and wish you a very successful set of meetings and discussions today and tomorrow.
President Peña Nieto has distinguished me with the privilege and high responsibility of moving the US-Mexico strategic alliance forward in times of big challenges and remarkable opportunities.
The discussion on issues related to the bilateral relationship, business, trade, and immigration, have dominated the presidential race in the US. Often, the great benefits and contributions of our partnership have been underestimated and misrepresented. We need to speak up and underscore the contributions of the Mexican and Mexican-American community, particularly the businessmen and businesswomen who have fueled the growth of one of the most remarkable alliances in the world.
For the last 20 years, the role of the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs (AEM for its acronym in Spanish) has been fundamental in expanding trade and investment on both sides of the border, and has decisively contributed to the dynamism of our relationship. The AEM has become the only, as far as I am aware, national organization of Mexicans in the US. It has 26 chapters in the US and Mexico, presenting itself as a binational organization connecting businessmen and our societies. I am proud to say that I have been an active participant in the chapters in San Antonio, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and of course, Washington D.C.
As you are well aware, Mexico has overcome numerous obstacles and transformed our economy to address the global challenges we have faced. Over the past two decades, a combination macro-economic stability, economic liberalization, flexible exchange rates and Free Trade Agreements with over 45 countries, has transformed Mexico’s economy. This transformation has been possible thanks to Mexico’s solid democratic institutions, a young and increasingly prepared population, and more recently, a set of 11 structural reforms that keep boosting productivity and foster a more competitive economy.
One of those structural reforms was the modification of the constitution to establish a new criminal justice system and an anti-corruption law in order to provide transparency and guarantee the application of the rule of law.
We have seen unprecedented growth in bilateral commerce. Our countries are experiencing the fastest economic integration of any region in the world in every possible way. As you know, Mexico and the U.S. trade more than half a trillion dollars every year, the second largest gross trade flow in the world. More importantly, we not only trade intensively with each other, we jointly produce goods for the rest of the world through deeply integrated production and supply chains which create jobs on both sides of the border.
We are not promoting Mexican success and the goals that we have achieved together as much as we should.
The integration we have achieved over the last two decades is so strong because Mexico and the US share the same goal: prosperity to benefit our peoples. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, as members of the Hispanic community in the U.S., have always made great contributions to the economy and social fabric of the communities they live in.
Hispanic immigrants earn approximately $240 billion yearly and pay $90 billion a year in taxes. Mexican immigrants own more than half a million companies (1 out of every 25 in the country), generating $17 billion in revenues annually and contribute with 8% of the U.S.’s GDP.
So let me say it loud and clear: the contributions of honest, hard-working Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans to this country need to be acknowledged today more than ever before.
Active involvement of all of those that play a key role in this relationship is fundamental to continue moving forward toward the realization of our vast potential. On the government side, we are doing our job.
President Obama and President Peña Nieto launched the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in 2013, and through this mechanism, we already have delivered results. It is fostering further engagement at the highest level between the Mexican and U.S. governments. The private sector has also increased their involvement through the CEO Dialogue.
As part of the new strategy, we are also active through our Consular network in 50 US cities, not only modernizing our traditional services and improving the empowerment of our community, but also engaging actively in public diplomacy activities to promote Mexican interests.
But this is not enough. It is time now to adopt a more proactive approach in promoting the importance of Mexico to the US.
The Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs represents the businessmen and businesswomen that are connected with Mexico, that do business with Mexico, that are well informed of the deep, strategic and unique relationship between our two nations.
I know that those of you present tonight are leaders with a strong voice in your communities, with public officials and within your industries. You can have a positive influence voicing the importance of our relationship and making sure that every single actor is aware of the tremendous challenges and opportunities we face.
I encourage you all to work together, every day, so that we can reach a broader audience and educate everyone on the relevance and the benefits of the strategic alliance and make the most of it.
With a forward-looking vision and decisive action, our countries are building a closer relationship to turn North America into the most competitive region in the world.
We share a prosperous future. It is our responsibility to make this real.
Before ending my remarks, let me express my respect and best wishes for the Jewish community and for those of you celebrating a New Year. Shanah Tova!
¡Muchas gracias y buenas noches!!!