Thank you very much for having me here for the signing of an important cooperation agreement between two prominent and prestigious universities from Mexico and the United States. We sincerely welcome and acknowledge this memorandum as a significant step forward.
The governments of Mexico and the United States have joined efforts in the framework of the Forum on Higher Education, Research and Innovation, known as FOBESII. The initiative responds to the real need to increase bilateral academic exchanges, and is part of a shared vision for educational cooperation.
As you know, the relationship between Mexico and the US is one of the strongest and most complex in the world. Our economies and societies are deeply integrated. Mexico is the third largest trading partner and the second largest export market for the US. The dynamism along our common border, with one million people crossing every day, has no parallel anywhere else in the world. There are also some 34 million people of Mexican origin who reside in the United States, so the ties between our two countries extend to our people and families.
To quote the recent Council on Foreign Relations report on North America: our region has the potential to become a new type of growth market, combining the best of cutting-edge developed-economy innovation with the best of developing country structural reforms.
Much of the framework for the North American engine is already in place, and we are now undertaking measures to ensure it has the high octane fuel it needs as we move forward. The best way to produce that fuel is through the development of a workforce with skills attuned to the demands of the 21st Century. We can achieve this by expanding student and academic exchanges, increasing joint research in areas of common interest and sharing best practices in innovation and higher education. The agreement signed today is part of this vision to invest in our human capital and make North America the most competitive region in the world.
Sydney Harris said that the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. The academic and cultural experiences of the students of Tec de Monterrey in the stimulating Bostonian context will strengthen their minds and open a window to a better understanding of the United States. We will become better neighbors, and that is the path to a future of shared prosperity.
Thank you and congratulations again.