NIGERIA has stepped up efforts towards the establishment of a bilateral joint economic commission with Mexico.
The commission will among other things help the country to document the trade in animal skin with the Latin American country for its footwear and agro-allied industries.
Yesterday, the two countries signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a consultation mechanism of common interest in Abuja.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, maintained that in the present drive for investment in the thriving non-oil sector, the form of economic cooperation envisaged would “usher in various opportunities for the procurement by Nigeria and Nigerian interests, of Mexican agricultural machinery to boost the food security needs of the country”
The joint economic commission, it was further learnt, had become imperative because the experts on the Nigerian side of the table see the country’s comparative advantage embedded in the American country’s interest in the high quality animal skin export among others.
The MOU, which was signed by the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director of Regions, who stood in for the Minister, Bukun-Olu Onemola, is meant largely to create an enabling environment for the improvement of the Nigeria-Mexico relations.
Responding to the expression of willingness for a more strategic relations with Nigeria as expressed by the Mexican envoy, Onemola said: “This MOU serves as a basic strategy as well as a mechanism towards achieving the national aspirations of our two countries including ensuring that both countries are economically buoyant and politically stable”
On the establishment of a joint bilateral economic commission over which an agreement had been reached between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Mexican counterpart Vicente Fox Quesada when the latter visited Nigeria in 2002, he said: “It is aimed at re-engineering and re-invigorating the bilateral links in different sectors in our countries which I fervently believe will elevate our strategic partnership to the next level… The effort is in line with the current trend towards globalisation either in bilateral or multilateral settings.
“This development makes it more expedient more than ever before for both countries to share information and initiatives on how to confront the challenges to guide their respective national policies in order to deepen and strengthen our diplomatic ties”
Nigeria and Mexico, both classified as developing countries, face similar developmental challenges, but possessing potential for investments.
Although both countries established diplomatic missions in their respective capitals in the 60s, their respective embassies were forced to close in the 80’s due mainly to economic considerations. The missions were reopened after 25 years even though for a greater part of the period, Nigeria didn’t completely close her mission in the Central American country where a Charge d’Affairs was maintained there.
Through a concurrent accreditation in its reopened status, Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia Guinea (Conakry) and Sierra Leone are now being covered from Nigeria.