10 | NOV | 2019
Lord Mayor of London, Rt. Hon. Dr. Andrew Parmley, in Mexico City - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa /EL UNIVERSAL

Creating new commercial ties in the Mexico-UK relations

Mexico City
EL UNIVERSAL in English /Berenice González
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Financial ambassador of the UK, Lord Mayor of London, Rt. Hon. Dr. Andrew Parmley completed a three-day tour in Mexico City aimed at promoting a two-way investment between the two countries

Mexico’s interest in expanding existing commercial ties with the UK has been reasserted as of recently. Only last month, Mexican Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, visited the UK to meet with key players of the British financial and business sector, in an effort to promote free-trade relationships with the UK after its withdrawal from the European Union, in what has come to be known as “Brexit”.

Additionally, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs from the Mexican Minister of Economy, Juan Carlos Baker underlined how Mexico wishes to pursue a “preferential business relationship with the UK in terms of trade”, during his participation in the third round of negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union in Belgium last April.

Similarly, the UK made its interest in the development of solid commercial relationships with Mexico manifest with a three-day visit of the Lord Mayor of London to Mexico City in late May.

This visit included meetings with high-profile businessmen, ministers and financial authorities, including the governor of Mexico's Central Bank (BANXICO), Agustín Carstens. In an interview with EL UNIVERSALRt. Hon. Dr. Andrew ParmleyLord Mayor of London for 2016-2017, explained the purpose of his role as well as some highlights of a visit aimed at creating financial bridges between the two countries. 

The Lord Mayor serves as an ambassador of the UK in terms of the financial, commercial and related services, in Dr. Parmley words, “My job is to promote the UK across the planet, at the same time to provide opportunities for Mexican investors to find avenues to invest via London.”

The Lord Mayor is tasked with supporting and promoting London's "Square Mille" or "The City" as the leading financial and business services centre worldwide. Instituted in 1189, the appointment of Lord Mayor heads the City of London Corporation, one of the oldest local government authorities in charge of providing optimal conditions for the residents and businesses located in The City.

Dr. Parmley noted that Brexit negotiations remain the biggest challenge  UK has to face in terms of free-trade but he is confident that successful negotiations will be achieved: “London needs Europe, but Europe also needs London, it is a two-way street. We are looking for mutual cooperation and mutual benefit. If we allow the free market to dictate how things turn out and rise a bit above politics we are going to have a great outcome in Europe and for the rest of the world”.  

Though UK's relation with Mexico "has never been warmer", Dr. Parmley noted that "we do have a long way to go in terms of the commercial relationship between our countries." During his three-day tour in Mexico City as the financial ambassador of The City, Dr. Parmley held high-profile meetings with key financial players, including Mexican Minister of Finance, José Antonio Meade, and the Mexican Banking Association.

Among the topics of discussion in the Lord Mayor's agenda were financial transactions by means of  FinTechcybercrime and the issuance of Green Bonds, respectively: "London is the world leading centre for the issuance of green bonds at the moment, a matter of great significance for Mexico." , said Dr. Parmley.

He further added that "interesting developments" were made in the course of the meetings he held with Mexican Ministers in relation to the possibility of getting involved in Islamic Finance, the financial activity that complies with the Sharia or Islamic Law: "You may think that is a strange thing to say, because Mexico is predominantly a Catholic country and the UK is predominantly Protestant, however, London a the leading centre of Islamic Finance; we have 20 banks dealing in this sort of vehicle for raising money; we have 20 colleges of higher education teaching courses in Islamic Finances, so it is clearly and important area of growth."

Dr. Parmley concluded by underlining the benefits of developing business transactions via London in terms of the exposure and commercial opportunities entailed: "If you transact your financial business through New York, you gain access to the American market, if you transact through the UK, through London specifically, the world is yours."


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