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The Future of Asia 2018

Mexico optimistic about kicking off TPP 11 this year

First country to ratify the trade deal has benefited from open economies, secretary says

Mexico's economy secretary, Ildefonso Guajardo, speaks about trade's importance for emerging economies in Tokyo on June 11. (Photo by Maho Obata)

TOKYO -- Mexico's economy secretary said on Monday that his country remains committed to multinational trade relationships, including with Asian countries, that it sees as important for growth.

"Mexico was the first country to ratify" the so-called TPP 11, said Ildefonso Guajardo at the Future of Asia conference. "We hope that before the end of the year we will have the six countries required" for the pact to enter into force.

The Mexican Congress voted in April in favor of ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the 11-nation trade and investment became known after the U.S pulled out last year.

Guajardo pointed to trade's positive impact on Asia and the rest of the world.

"In the last 45 years, trade has been the most important leading force of growth," said Guajardo, adding that it has helped lift people in China and other emerging economies out of poverty.

From the 1970s to 2015, trade more than doubled as a share of global gross domestic product, to 60% from 27%, he added.

The secretary also touched on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has benefited Mexico, the U.S. and Canada but is in danger of falling apart because of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist stance.

"There is a big part of NAFTA that has to be redesigned," he said. "We need to give the three nations a win scenario in order to make it work for all."

"We keep committed to keep working together to bring back certainty in the way we integrate in the North American region, and the way we are going to integrate strongly with Japan through CPTPP," Guajardo added.

Nikkei staff writers Akane Okutsu and Soichiro Yamashita contributed to this article.

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