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Mission to Mexico of Undersecretary Giorgio Silli (Mexico City, 22-24 January 2023)

The Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Giorgio Silli, concluded a mission to Mexico yesterday, during which he held talks with the Mexican Minister of Culture, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, the Undersecretary for Foreign Trade at the Mexican Ministry of Economy, Alejandro Encinas Najera, and the Mexican Undersecretaries for Foreign Affairs – Carmen Moreno Toscano for External Relations, Martha Delgado for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga for Latin America and the Caribbean. During the mission, Undersecretary Silli also met with distinguished representatives of the Italian community and companies located in the country.

“Mexico is a country of great strategic importance for Italy, which we share strong historical, cultural affinities and excellent bilateral relations with, as hopefully strengthened by my visit,” said Undersecretary Silli while speaking of the busy programme he has been engaged in over the past three days in the Mexican capital.

The meeting at the Mexican Ministry of Economy with Undersecretary Encinas was an opportunity for a “fruitful exchange of views on the global and local economic situation, as well as on opportunities to increase trade and investment flows between Italy and Mexico.” In particular, reference was made to the new global value chains, recalling the concepts of friendshoring and nearshoring. The discussion focused on Mexico’s potential as a gateway to the North American market under the existing free trade agreement with the USA and Canada.

In the afternoon, Undersecretary Silli met with Mexican Minister of Culture Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, with whom he reviewed the various areas of cultural cooperation between Italy and Mexico, including language promotion, university cooperation, and academic exchanges. Undersecretary Silli particularly emphasised Italy’s commitment to protecting Mexico’s artistic and cultural heritage. “The important investigative results achieved regarding the recovery and return of Mexican cultural artefacts by the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage constitute a formidable tool for bilateral cooperation with Mexico, which is about to set up a section of their Guardia Nacional in the wake of the experience gained in the field by our Carabinieri. I have opened the door to possible further forms of collaboration with Mexico on this point, meeting with extreme interest on the part of Mexican authorities, whom I have invited to come to Rome in the coming months.”

At the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Undersecretary Silli held talks with all three Undersecretaries – Carmen Moreno Toscano for External Relations, Martha Delgado for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The discussions with Undersecretary Reyes covered the latest developments in the Organisation of American States (OAS), the summit between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Pacific Alliance – an initiative that involves Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as Mexico. In this context, Undersecretary Silli reiterated that Italy attaches “fundamental importance to the promotion of a strategic partnership among the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean by virtue of the strong shared values and principles of multilateralism, the defence of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

All the main bilateral issues were discussed with Undersecretary Moreno, “with the aim of fostering collaboration and exchanges between Italy and Mexico in the political, economic, cultural, scientific-technological, security and justice fields.”

In Undersecretary Delgado’s words, the meeting made it possible “to renew Italy and Mexico’s common commitment to a moratorium on the death penalty and the defence of women’s rights.” During the meeting, there was also “a fruitful exchange of views on the reform of the UN Security Council, which has come back to the fore following the Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

During all the meetings, Rome’s candidacy for Expo 2030 was one of the key dossiers tackled: Undersecretary Silli explained in detail the qualifying elements and strengths of the City of Rome’s candidacy for Expo 2030, dwelling on the vision that inspired the project for a newfound harmony between people and territories, thanks to innovation, inclusion and urban regeneration.

During the mission, Undersecretary Giorgio Silli also met with representatives of the Italian community and businesses in Mexico and greeted the staff of the Italian Embassy. “The Italian community in Mexico is large and very active; together with the Italian companies operating there, it contributes to strengthening the close friendship between the two countries. After the contraction due to the pandemic crisis, trade and investment flows between Italy and Mexico have been growing strongly, and the energy transition is presenting interesting opportunities for Italian companies in the field of renewable energy sources.”

Last Sunday, 22 January 2023, Undersecretary Silli visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the second most important place of pilgrimage for Catholics after St. Peter’s Basilica, and attended Holy Mass, at the end of which he met Archbishop Cardinal Carlos Aguirar Retes, Primate of Mexico.