Mexico and France sign More Than 60 Official Agreements

Peña Nieto and Hollande at the conclusion today of the former's state visit. (Photo: Presidencia de la República)

More than 60 different agreements, accords, letters of intent, joint declarations and memorandums of understanding have been signed between Mexico and France during a state by President Peña Nieto.
On Thursday. July 16th, the president wrapped up a six-day visit with a joint press conference at which he and French President François Hollande underscored the new relationship between the two countries: the period of estrangement, they said, is over.

Peña Nieto said the “storm clouds” have blown away in preparation for a constructive and positive relationship.

The new agreements cover a wide range of themes, from environmental protection to education to health.

For the first, both countries will work together for an international agreement on climate change while in terms of education one initiative will see some 400 normal school students — those studying to be teachers —have an opportunity to study in France.

A health accord will permit the development in Mexico of a nutritional program for seniors.

A memorandum of understanding signed today between Air France and Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics makes it official that beginning next January, Air France will begin operating the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, between Paris and Mexico City with three flights a week.

Mexico and France agreed three years ago to renew their relationship, which soured after Mexican authorities jailed a French national, Florence Cassez, on kidnapping charges.

Peña Nieto and Hollande at the conclusion today of the former's state visit. (Photo: Presidencia de la República)
Peña Nieto and Hollande at the conclusion today of the former’s state visit. (Photo: Presidencia de la República)

In the three years since, trade between the two has increased at a rate of 10% per year, and so far this year it is up 30%.

One of about 20 events held during Peña Nieto’s visit was the France-Mexico Economic Forum, designed to encourage business investment between the two. There are 550 French companies currently operating in Mexico, but only three Mexican companies in France, an imbalance Mexico would like to correct.

Opportunities for further commercial cooperation have been identified in aerospace, aeronautics, automotive, infrastructure, transportation and energy.

The state visit was held in conjunction with France’s main national celebration, Bastille Day, held Tuesday, at which Mexico was the guest of honor. That night, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the colors of the Mexican flag before a crowd of half a million on the ground, and millions more television viewers.

The trip by the president and his wife, Angélica Rivera, was not without some controversy over the size of the entourage. More than 400 people made the journey, rather more than the 232 who traveled with the president to the United Kingdom in May, which itself was somewhat controversial for its size.

Of those who went to France, 141 were cabinet secretaries, agency heads, support staff and others in the federal administration, while 156 were members of the Armed Forces, who went to participate in the July 14 military parade. Heads of universities, business leaders and reporters made up the rest.


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