By ELENA KOSOLAPOVA
AZERI OBSERVER STAFF WRITER
Mexico celebrates 4 years since opening of its embassy in Baku in 2018. Ambassador Rodrigo Labardini hosted a press-conference to mark this anniversary on Monday and told journalists about the achievements made in relations between Azerbaijan and Mexico in this period.
The Mexican ambassador noted that in spite of establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, the both countries did not know a lot about each other. So, the main goal of Mexican Embassy in Baku opened in 2014 was to increase the awareness about Mexico in Azerbaijan and it have achieved good progress. For example, the number of publications about Mexico in Azerbaijani media increased from 5 in 2014 to 641 in 2017.
The bilateral trade turnover increased from $1.58 million in 2014 to $9.57 million in 2017, according to Mexican economy ministry. The ministry forecasts that the trade turnover will increase further to $25.3 million after the 1st Mexican trade mission to Azerbaijan and 1st Azerbaijani trade mission to Mexico and the visit of the head of ProMexico (a Mexican trust fund promoting international trade and investment), in 2017. The 2nd Mexican trade mission visited Azerbaijan in April 2018 and the Embassy plans to organize more trade missions to Azerbaijan until the year-end and in 2019. The missions will include producers of alcoholic beverages, namely tequila and mescal, as well as salsa sauce and canned food. In addition, in 2017 Mexico took part in the WorldFood Exhibition in Baku for the first time. This year Director General of the Mexican Oil Institute Ernesto Ríos Patrón will take part in the Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference on May 29-June 01. Mexico has never participated in this exhibition before.
Moreover, a number of high level visits and meetings were organized since opening of Azerbaijani Embassy in Mexico in 2007, including two high-level political consultations, foreign minister’s meetings, visits of Mexico’s senators and deputies to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani MPs to Mexico. Moreover, Mexico was the first country in Latin America which passed resolution condemning the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and assessing the bloody events in Khojaly.
The Mexican Embassy have also organized dozens of cultural events since 2014 including painting, art, sculpture, photo and gastronomic exhibitions, dance shows, tequila and mescal tastings, celebration of Mexican festivities, and etc.
The number of visitors from Mexico to Azerbaijan, including tourists and businessmen, increased from 250 in 2015 to 570 in 2017.