Mexican imports of products from Asia broke a record in 2021, while a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore is about to enter into force, negotiations will begin for another with South Korea and the modernization of one more that already operates with Japan.
Already in the first 11 months of 2021, Mexico reached a historical maximum of imports originating in Asia considering full years, totaling 174,215 million dollars, a figure that is 4.8% higher than that of all of 2019, the year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. .
These purchases covered 38% of total Mexican merchandise imports from January to November 2021, when a decade ago that portion was 30.5 percent.
Asia dominates the world production of manufactures and many other products, with China as its epicenter.
Going forward, this growing integration could accelerate, due to a series of trade agreements that Mexico has already put into force, are in negotiations or are about to be ratified in the corresponding Asian nations.
Two new announcements in this regard were released just last week, with two heavyweights from that continent.
On Thursday, Fernando Ruiz Huarte, general director of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (Comce), reported that the analysis to modernize the Economic Association Agreement (EPA) between Mexico and Japan has begun.
A day earlier, the members of the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru) agreed to begin, during the first half of 2022, the negotiation process with the Republic of Korea, as an Associated State of that bloc, which implies agreeing to an FTA.
South Korea has not requested its adherence to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TIPAT), as the United Kingdom, China and Taiwan have done formally, and Ecuador, which has already reported its interest in being a party.
Instead, Ruiz Huarte said that South Korea made its first attempt to reach an FTA with Mexico in the last year of the government of President Ernesto Zedillo, in 2000.
Then he claimed the same thing in 2004, when Mexico was then negotiating an economic association agreement with Japan, which entered into force on April 1, 2005.
Last Wednesday, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru also signed a Trade Agreement with the Republic of Singapore, which will become the first Associated State of the Pacific Alliance.
In exports, dynamism is limited
In the opposite direction, from January to November 2021, Mexican exports to the Asian continent were 26,330 million dollars, an amount that represented 5.9% of the total foreign sales of Mexico in that same period, when comparatively that indicator was 4.2 % in 2011.
For its part, TIPAT comprises 11 economies in the Pacific Basin, which together represent 13% (11 billion dollars) of world GDP, 7% (508 million) of the world population and 15% (3.7 billion dollars) of world exports.
TIPAT has been in force for six members since December 30, 2018 (Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore), while for Vietnam its validity began on January 14, 2019 and for Peru, the September 19, 2021. The three remaining members (Brunei, Chile and Malaysia) have not yet ratified the agreement.