1. Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Gunn will visit Mexico on October 19-21. He will meet with Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs Julian Ventura and the head of the Mexico-Republic of Korea parliamentary friendship group, and have a meeting with representatives from Korean companies in Mexico.
2. During Deputy Minister Kim’s visit to Mexico, which will be the first visit to Latin America by an ROK high-level official since the COVID-19 outbreak, Deputy Minister Kim will convey the ROK’s willingness to resume high-level face-to-face diplomacy between the two countries that has been suspended due to COVID-19, and focus on expanding cooperation for post-COVID-19 economic revitalization.
o Mexico, the world’s 15th largest economy, is the ROK’s biggest trading partner and investment destination in Latin America. With the recent entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA, an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)) and the current Global Value Chains (GVC) restructuring trend, Mexico is becoming increasingly important as a bridgehead for Korean companies’ entry into North and Latin American markets.
3. The ROK and Mexico are traditional allies that have expanded substantive cooperation in a range of areas since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962 and established the “strategic partnership” in 2005. The two countries have also worked together in resolving global issues on the international stage through MIKTA, a consultative mechanism among middle-power countries.
o Amid the COVID-19 situation, the two countries, beginning with the phone conversation between the foreign ministers (Mar. 7), have been strengthening cooperation in disease prevention and control and the health sector, including through the ROK government’s humanitarian assistance to Mexico, export of medical and quarantine equipment to Mexico, and cooperation on clinical studies of COVID-19 treatments.
4. Through his meetings with Mexican politicians, officials, and business people during the visit, Deputy Minister Kim will discuss various ways for facilitating trade and investment and expanding economic cooperation, and make efforts to resolve difficulties faced by Korean companies in Mexico and increase their presence in the country.
5. Lastly, Deputy Minister Kim will ask for Mexico’s support for Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, who has advanced to the final round of the selection process for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General.