By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
India is now Mexico’s eighth-largest trade partner, with a combined commercial exchange of more than $10 billion in 2018, according to that country’s diplomatic envoy to Mexico.
“Last year marked a significant growth in both our trade and investment ties with Mexico,” said Indian Ambassador to Mexico Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi during his official welcome speech at his embassy’s Republic Day reception at his Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec residence on Monday, Jan. 28.
“Our combined two-way trade surpassed the $10 billion mark for the first time, raising India’s ranking two pegs to become Mexico’s eighth-largest trade partner.”
Pardeshi went on to note that when he first arrived in Mexico in 2016, India ranked Number 13 among Mexico’s trade partners.
And 10 years ago, he said, combined bilateral trade amounted to just $2.9 billion annually.
At the time, India was not even included among Mexico’s top 20 trade partners.
“In 2018, Mexico also emerged as India’s largest trade partner in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Pardeshi said.
“There are today more than 180 Indian companies with a financial presence in Mexico, mainly in the information technologies, pharmaceutical and automotive industries … but also, recently, in new sectors such as food and tractors.”
The ambassador said that Indian corporations , with a accumulated investment of more than $2 billion, now provide jobs for more than 30,000 Mexican workers.
Pardeshi pointed out that 2018 was “a year of political transition” for Mexico, and in December, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi sent a congratulatory message to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) offering his support to elevate the “privileged” bilateral association to new height’s during AMLO’s six-year term.
The ambassador also spoke about bilateral cultural cooperation between India and Mexico.
In 2018, he recalled, India was the invited guest nation of honor during the 46th edition of the International Cervantino Festival (FIC) in Guanajuato, and this year, India will be the invited guest nation of honor at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara.
Republic Day, one of two Indian national holidays, marks that country’s birth as a republic when the new nation’s constitution was officially approved and implemented.
While India became independent in 1947, it continued for some time to have dominion status under the British.
It was not until Nov. 26, 1949, when India adopted a constitution that went into effect on Jan. 26, 1950, and formally became a sovereign republic.