Visit to Mexico City and Monterey focuses on business development
The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, has used a visit to Mexico to present the activities of the Bank to the local business community and to point out the advantages of joint engagements in the more than 30 countries where the EBRD invests.
His message was that Mexico has been a success story for diversification from oil and gas that some EBRD countries of operations could benefit from studying closely. He also praised Mexico as a “good example for successfully implementing structural economic reforms”.
President Chakrabarti started his engagements with a meeting with Mexico’s Minister of Finance, José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, who is also his country’s EBRD Governor, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Vanessa Rubio Márquez. President Chakrabarti said: “We have always enjoyed a close relationship on an institutional level and now it is time to also increase our business cooperation. The EBRD regions offer huge opportunities and Mexico has many companies which would fit these opportunities perfectly well.”
Sir Suma also met with Mexico’s Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, and underlined the EBRD’s readiness to strengthen its outreach to Mexican companies. Mexico is a founding member of the EBRD and has been a shareholder of the Bank since its establishment in 1991.
The President’s meetings with firms included business promotion agency ProMéxico and Bancomext. With ProMéxico an agreement was reached to strengthen cooperation and, in the near future, sign a Memorandum of Understanding outlining an action plan for the next steps in working together.
Sir Suma also joined two well-attended business development seminars, one in Mexico City and the other in Monterey, which attracted the attention of the business and diplomatic communities. “We have always admired Mexican businesses’ sense of entrepreneurship and we think there is a lot for our countries to learn here.”
To date, the EBRD has one large project with a Mexican investor, a €50 million loan for a cement producer in Egypt which has transformed production standards and led to improvements in energy efficiency. In recent years Mexican companies have started to look more closely at opportunities in countries and sectors where the EBRD invests.
The EBRD opened its first Representative Office for North America in Washington, D.C., continuing its drive to increase the flow of investment to emerging economies in the Bank’s regions. From the new office, the EBRD is stepping up cooperation with US, Canadian and Mexican companies and forging stronger ties with existing and potential commercial partners.
From Mexico President Chakrabarti travelled on to Washington, D.C. where he will attend the World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting from 7-9 October.