Mexico and Korea share long standing relationship which has almost completed 50 years of diplomatic relations. Diplomats of both the countries are very content with this tie and are looking forward to many more years of friendship. The last few years has seen an increase in the number of Korean tourists visiting the Latin American country.

Mexico-Korea Celebrates 50 years of Friendship

We consider Korea a strategic area to promote tourism to our country,” Ortiz de Rosas said. He added, “Last year we received 40,000 Koreans to Mexico, which represented an almost 50 percent increase compared to the previous year. This year in the first quarter we received already more than 15,000 Koreans, which represents also an increase in the relationship with the first quarter of last year”. covered a story on how the number of Korean tourists to Mexico increased dramatically last year.

A reception was held in Korea to celebrate this long standing relationship. “I think it has been a very successful 50 years of diplomatic relations. We have strengthened our cooperation in all the fields in bilateral relations since 1962 and we still have a lot potential ahead of us in all the fields,” said Ortiz de Rosas. The anniversary celebration also showcased Mexican culture in Korea. An exhibition of famous Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo was hosted by Sookmyung Women’s University Museum.

Government of both the countries is on a lookout to improve trade ties. 2012 has been noteworthy for both the countries as in June President Lee Myung-bak met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon during the G20 Summit in Los Cabos. A free trade agreement is the main agenda and it has already undergone two rounds of negotiations. Ortiz de Rosas said discussion on the pact shall resume “as soon as possible,” likely within the year.

“We are important trading partners,” said Ortiz de Rosas, noting that exports from Mexico to Korea have increased 52 percent this year from the previous one. “For us, Korea is our 6th trading partner worldwide and the third investment partner from this region, from the Asia-Pacific region. Our trade amounted to $12.4 billion last year. We have many Korean companies, big companies and small and medium companies, in Mexico, more than 1,400.”

“Both governments believe that we need to further our relationship in the form of an economic comprehensive partnership or a free trade agreement. During the last meeting of our two presidents in Los Cabos in the framework of the G20 they talked about their commitment to try to reestablish the negotiations for an FTA in the near future. It is very important to continue.”

More Mexican festivities are lined up for Korea as Millennium Seoul Hilton is holding a Mexican food festival through September; an exhibition on Mayan civilization opened at the start of the month at the National Museum of Korea; and in November, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies will hold a week-long celebration of the life and work of Mexican author Carlos Fuentes, who died in May. The aim of these events is to expose Korean to Mexican culture which in turn will boost tourism to the Latin country.