Mexico, EU make headway in updating free trade agreement

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-21 10:27:17|Editor: Yurou
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MEXICO CITY, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from Mexico and the European Union (EU) Tuesday concluded the ninth round of talks to update their free trade agreement, closing five more chapters.

The Mexican government said the meetings in Mexico City had settled matters related to trade, state-owned enterprises, subsidies, trade in services and anti-corruption.

The talks also saw progress on trade in goods, rules of origin, public tenders, investment and intellectual property.

"We are close to achieving consensus mainly on specific topics in the chapters of trade in goods, rules of origin and intellectual property," the Mexican Economy Ministry said in a statement.

The government said the talks would continue.

The EU is the second largest foreign investor in Mexico, after the United States, with which Mexico is currently renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, as well as Canada.

Trade between Mexico and the EU has tripled in the 17 years since their free trade agreement was passed, increasing from 20.8 billion U.S. dollars a year to 61.7 billion U.S. dollars.

EU companies' investment in Mexico accounted for a third of the total foreign direct investment in that period.

Mexico was the first country in Latin America to sign an Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement with the EU in 1997.

The pact was developed into a comprehensive free trade agreement covering trade in goods and trade in services, which came into force in October 2000 and 2001 respectively.

In May 2016, the EU and Mexico started negotiations to update the agreement.