The CFCC was privileged to be joined by HE Julián Ventura, currently Mexico’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, to discuss Mexico’s current place in the world and its relationship with the UK. His Excellency commenced his address by highlighting the importance of Mexico on the international stage; not only has it been at the forefront of international issues such as nuclear disarmament (for which it received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1982), human rights, climate change, and immigration, but it also holds the unique position of representing the North and Latin America’s simultaneously. He also noted the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with the United States, given that a million dollars of goods crosses the US-Mexico border every minute. However, with the current administration in Washington’s increasingly hostile approach to Mexicans, coupled with the new regime that has just been elected in Mexico, he stressed how the political future of Mexico is one filled with uncertainty.
With regards to Mexico-UK relations, Julián noted how these are increasingly strengthening; more Mexican postgrads are studying in the UK than the US, whilst the popularity of Mexican culture is illustrated by the fact that the 3rd largest number of tourists in Mexico are from the UK. Yet, there is certainly space for this relationship to improve, with the UK only being Mexico’s 18th largest trading partner (the 5th largest in Europe). Julián also argued that the recent reform of the North American Free Trade Agreement should serve as an example to the UK in its negotiations of the Brexit deal.
The evening finished with a number of questions, ranging from topics on the current immigrant caravan that has entered Mexico to the effects of cannabis legalization on drug trafficking across the US-Mexico border, before being closed by an address given by Sir Ronald Halstead CBE, the CFCC’s current President.
Text of speech attached.