Trade with Mexico to rise by €1bn after business conference here
Irish trade with Mexico is set to increase by €1bn thanks to a major business conference happening here in May.
Mexico's finance minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, will lead 150 top business people here for the Mexico-Dublin Business Conference on May 1 and 2, the first ever such conference.
Trade between the two countries is worth €1bn annually. Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, who spearheaded the event, says that "hopefully over a period of five years we can double our trade with Mexico," as a result of the conference.
Mexico is the 14th largest economy in the world and is also a member of the Pan-American Union, which is the sixth biggest economic power worldwide.
Mexico's ambassador to Ireland, Carlos Garcia De Alba, said that each of the leading business people have on average three meetings arranged, and that deals of millions of euro will be struck at the two-day event.
"Dublin isn't really on the map for Mexican business people, they think of America or Madrid," explained Mr Quinn.
"We want to position Dublin as an ideal gateway into the 500 million people in Europe."
According to Mr Garcia De Alba, President Michael D Higgins's visit to Mexico last October triggered a large volume of calls to his embassy from business leaders about the possibility of doing business here.
Mr Quinn, who invited the Mexican finance minister to the event, said Mr Guajardo's attendance led to a big increase in the number of business people deciding to take part.
"It's a long way to come for them so his confirmation to attend indicated that there was something going on here," said Mr Quinn.
Declan Ryan, son of aviation entrepreneur Tony Ryan, will speak at the event as will Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.
Ireland was promoted to the Mexican business leaders by informing them about the 12.5pc corporation tax, something which the Mexican ambassador said they were not aware of.
Mr Quinn hopes that Ireland can secure major investment from Mexican firms in the way that US tech giants have already invested here.
"If we bring Mexican business into Ireland, then those decisions can last for many, many years," he explained.