MEXICO CITY, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Mexico should expand economic ties with China as a counterbalance to its heavy reliance on the United States, according to a leading academic.
Attracting more investment from China would both help spur development in Mexico and reduce the dependence on its northern neighbor, said Cutberto Hernandez, a specialist in Asian and African affairs at the Faculty of Law of La Salle University in Mexico City.
"From my point of view, there needs to be a change in outlook, to try and take advantage of the economic and investment opportunity China offers," Hernandez told Xinhua in an interview.
"Unfortunately, that has not happened as it should have, due to the economic and political interests established with the United States, a market on which there is a strong dependency," he added.
Mexico would benefit from a more balanced situation and from the potential for economic expansion with China, he said.
"New expanded ties" between the two countries would lead to a formula for cooperation that would be of mutual benefit, said Hernandez.
In Latin America, Argentina and Brazil are reaping the benefits of closer ties with the Asian giant, said the academic, adding both countries today "are essential to China's food supply and food development."
Mexico and China have already laid the groundwork for increased cooperation, the expert noted.
Since 2013, the two have put in place mechanisms to promote bilateral and permanent dialogue on key economic issues, including a high-level bilateral work group (GAN) that meets annually to oversee trade promotion, and cooperation in industry and mining. A similar group focuses exclusively on investment (GANI).
On the sidelines of the recent Group of 20 (G20) summit held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, the presidents of Mexico and China, Enrique Pena Nieto and Xi Jinping met over expanding their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Hernandez believes the two countries should draw up a road map for cooperation over the coming years.
In the meantime, a multimillion-dollar mutual fund for investment in different projects, which the two heads of state referred to at their meeting, "presents a good opportunity" for Mexico, said the academic.
Through the fund, China can participate in the Special Economic Zones Mexico plans to create, especially in the southern parts of the country, he said.
More than 70 Chinese companies operate in Mexico, in such sectors as telecommunications and fossil fuels, and more recently in the areas of renewable energy and commercial banking.
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