Switzerland intensifies relations with Mexico
Swiss President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann has paid a two-day presidential visit to Mexico. The meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peñia Nieto on November 4, 2016 served to intensify bilateral relations. The Swiss president also attended the founding ceremony of the Swiss-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The visit also saw the launch of the Alianza Suiza por la Educación Dual initiative (Swiss Alliance for Vocational Education and Training, an institution that made Switzerland famous in view to dual education creating interest also in India and the USA)
The aim of the presidential visit to Mexico, a member of the G20, was to consolidate contacts with Switzerland’s second most important trade partner in Latin America at the highest level. The president was accompanied on his visit by a business delegation.
At the Casa de Suiza Schneider-Ammann attended the founding ceremony of the Swiss-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal. Among the topics discussed during the meeting with the Secretary of Finance, José Antonio Meade was the free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Mexico. The agreement, which was concluded in 2001, is to be updated.
On Friday, November 4, Schneider-Ammann and the Secretary of Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, launched the ‘Alianza Suiza por la Educación Dual’ initiative (Swiss Alliance for Vocational Education and Training) at the Colegio Suizo de México. The initiative offers Swiss businesses in Mexico the opportunity to participate officially in the dual-track education of apprentices.
The firms will be able to initiate vocational training in certain fields and thereby satisfy their need for skilled workers. The alliance is currently supported by ten Swiss firms, all of which are actively involved in the process of introducing dual-track vocational education and training to Mexico, and will offer around 200 apprenticeships from 2017.
To introduce dual-track vocational education and training into the Mexican education system, Switzerland is also prepared to share information, its experience, good practices and expertise with Mexico. The two countries also wish to strengthen dialogue and specialist exchanges between experts and stakeholders in the form of a Letter of Intent.
Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Swissmedic and the Mexican therapeutic products authority, COFEPRIS. The Memorandum serves as a basis for closer cooperation and information exchanges and provides the necessary formal framework. The two countries also signed an air transport agreement.
Switzerland and Mexico
Over 5400 Swiss nationals live in Mexico and around 2800 Mexican nationals are currently living in Switzerland. There are roughly 400 Swiss firms based in Mexico employing around 50000 people. Switzerland is the eighth largest foreign direct investor in Mexico. Since the entry into force of a free trade agreement between EFTA and Mexico in 2001 economic relations have intensified significantly.
Switzerland and Mexico cooperate closely at multilateral level, particularly on climate change, human rights and in the Pacific Alliance, in which Switzerland is an observer.