A Mexican-Israeli Economic Partnership?
Although geographically distant from one another, prospects for a growing Mexican-Israeli economic partnership are positive.
Mexico continues to impress the world with its infrastructure overhaul, legislative economic reforms, and stable and steadily diversifying economy. A decade ago, Mexico and Israel had little in common in economic terms and capabilities – yet today, some are suggesting their similarities and growing opportunities for cooperation are bringing them together in a developing Mexican-Israeli economic partnership.
The two countries have longstanding relations that began with the first vote to partition Palestine. Mexico was one of only 10 countries to abstain from the 1947 vote, and then became one of the earliest to recognize the new state of Israel in 1950. Since then, Mexico has opened an embassy in Tel Aviv, and Israel subsequently opened one in Mexico City. Mexico occasionally makes high-end military purchases from Israel. Numerous cultural and tourist interchanges programs exist between the two countries. Increasingly, however, cooperation between the two nations extends beyond military and tourist trade. A new kind of Mexican-Israeli economic partnership is taking form.
Many are now pointing out that Mexico and Israel share a host of common goals and ideals. They certainly share an economic foundation as two of the world’s formidable export economies. While Mexico primarily exports for the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries, Israel ships products outside the bounds of its borders primarily for markets such as data & cyber security, agricultural technology, and weapons systems. While the two are not in competition, since their markets are very different, they do trade with one another, albeit not on a large scale. In 2000, the countries signed a free trade agreement that has brought about a healthy and steadily growing level of exchange amounting to approximately $776 million in 2014.
Mexican exports to Israel include:
- Crude oil
Israeli shipments to Mexico include:
- Chemical-based products
Other commonalities that favor the continuing growth of a Mexican-Israeli economic partnership include the hand-in-glove fit of the countries’ respective needs and offerings. For example, agriculture makes up a significant portion of the domestic economy in Mexico, and Israel excels in producing and exporting technology for drip irrigation, water filtration, and water management. A company that represents what a Mexican-Israeli economic partnership can result in is that a firm that is located in Mexico called Desert Glory, the largest tomato grower in all of North America, although now US-owned, was founded by Israelis.
Like Israel, Mexico prides itself on being a nation of laws, as well as for its protections afforded to intellectual property and innovative entrepreneurship. Both states afford clear legal protections for foreign businesses and foster foreign direct investment through codified civil law and a legal framework for cooperation and partnership. Given the potential of each country, the prospects for the further development of a Mexican-Israeli economic partnership are promising.