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Mexican president says BRICS key in bringing greater balance to global governance

(By Xinhua)

Updated: 2017-09-05 08:08:40

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The BRICS countries as a group are playing "a key role" in bringing greater balance to global governance in an increasingly more plural and diverse world, said Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Since BRICS members began to meet annually eight years ago, "we have seen important progress in the goals it set, particularly in the area of cooperation and coordination in multilateral forums on economic and political governance," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The Mexican leader is going to China to attend a Dialogue of Emerging Economies on the sidelines of the upcoming ninth summit of the BRICS bloc of emerging nations that include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be presiding over both the BRICS summit in the southeastern city of Xiamen from Sept. 3 to 5, and the Dialogue of Emerging Economies and Developing Countries to be held on the final day with the leaders from BRICS and five other emerging nations: Egypt, Tajikistan, Guinea, Thailand and Mexico.

The dialogue offers Mexico "an opportunity to present its outlook on the topics that China, as organizer of the event, has brought to the table, especially development, south-south cooperation, promoting connectivity and trade, and ways to eradicate poverty, said Pena Nieto.

"Mexico is committed to each of those issues to make headway towards a more just, prosperous and inclusive world," said Pena Nieto, adding "we are most willing to continue to promote international collaboration towards these goals."

"In addition, we see they (BRICS countries) have focused on innovative collaboration projects, such as the New Development Bank (NDB)," said the president.

The Shanghai-based NDB was created to supplement traditional West-led lending institutions, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, both based in Washington.

Mexico values China's different development initiatives, including efforts to promote cooperation among emerging economies, between China and Latin America and with developing countries on the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

To drive development cooperation with Latin America, China spearheaded an alliance with the region's largest bloc, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The first China-CELAC ministerial meeting was held in Beijing in January 2015.

That partnership has "great potential" to deepen ties between the two sides, especially in tackling global challenges, noted Pena Nieto.

Already, that partnership has helped to increase "mutual knowledge," but "we can inject greater dynamism into our dialogue on matters such as the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, combating climate change and immigration," said Pena Nieto.

"Those should be our priorities in the lead up to the 2nd ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC Forum," to be held in Santiago, Chile in January next year, said the president.

"In Mexico, we recognize China's interest in continuing to strengthen ties with Latin America, and the China-CELAC Forum as one of the most important existing mechanisms for cooperation," said Pena Nieto.

China's larger development push, the Belt and Road initiative, stands to boost not just cooperation, but also trade, tourism and cultural exchange between different parts of the globe, according to Pena Nieto.

Xi proposed the initiative in 2013, which includes building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Over 100 countries and international organizations have expressed support for or participated in the initiative, and investments from the Silk Road Fund has amounted to more than 4 billion U.S. dollars.

"Mexico welcomes all initiatives oriented towards greater opening up and bridge-building between countries, as well as projects designed to complement national, regional and multilateral efforts in cooperation and development," he said.

Pena Nieto said he recognized the value of bolstering infrastructure, a goal he has pursued nationally, since "it allows us to consolidate ourselves as a platform that facilitates connectivity in the Americas."

Mexico is also "committed to free trade," a leading Belt and Road objective, as it "generates more better quality jobs, competitiveness and opportunities, especially for small and medium-size companies."

"Diversifying our foreign trade is one of the pillars of our trade policy," he said.

As "one of the most dynamic (economies) in the world," China is a coveted trade partner, said Pena Nieto, which is why in 2013, Mexico entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership with the Asian giant.

"That allows us to bolster our trade and investment ties, and to jointly construct laws that generate certainty and confidence for doing business," said the president.