In a speech on November 15th,
William Hague,who is the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs,spoke about the many possibilities for mutual growth that a stronger
cooperative relationship between Mexico and Great Britain could bring about.
“History teaches us that Britain has a
track record of underestimating Latin America and neglecting its
opportunities,” he stated. “It is this neglect that the British government is
determined to address.”
Historically speaking,Weetman Pearson
has been one of the most influential British businessmen to work directly with
Mexico. Throughout the early part of the 20th century,Pearson
worked to secure a number of contracts to complete important public works
projects in Mexico real estate,
most notably the building of the Gran Canal,modernizing the Port of Veracruz
and rebuilding the Tehuantepec Railway. Pearson developed close working
relationships with Mexico's political power players,ultimately developing an
empire founded on engineering and oil that would make him one of the richest
men in Britain.
Although Pearson's success was
remarkable,it has not been the norm throughout the 20th century,
which saw an overall decline in commercial links between the UK and Mexico.
Today,the British government has vowed to reverse this trend,sending delegations
to Mexico and other countries in Latin America in an effort to build stronger
relationships,bolster trade and discuss the mutual business opportunities that
may be available,focusing on things the British government can do to support
and encourage additional investment.
“The trade and investment relationship
between our two countries [Britain and Mexico] is a key theme for my visit,”
said UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne. “There is a huge amount of
unrealized potential for further trade between our two nations.”
In cooperation with these efforts,
Mexican president Felipe Calderón
has announced that both countries have a shared goal to double their bilateral
trade,reaching GBP 4.2 billion by 2012,and has opened a Mexican Chamber of
Commerce in the UK this year.