HIS EXCELLENCY AGUSTIN GARCIA LOPEZ LOAEZA
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
I would like to thank, Mr. Tay Khiam Back for the opportunity to address the Singapore Fruit and Vegetable Association in these pages. Through the years Hupco pte. ltd. and many other members of the association, have provided the Embassy of Mexico and our trade agents of invaluable support to the Trade Missions and seminars organized by the Embassy, helping us to accomplish our mandate to promote Mexico’s agriproducts in Singapore and the region. A vast majority of the companies in this directory have been patrons of the countless Mexican hands that work hard every day to produce, pack and export produce like Avocado, Asparagus, Broccoli, Capsicums and Berries, which have found the tables of Singaporean consumers with the highest standards of food safety and traceability that distinguishes Mexican farms.
Between 1994 and 2020, Mexico’s foreign sales of our agricultural, fisheries, and food products increased by six times, reaching the record figure of $39.5billion USD last year, around 10% of the country’s total exports. Agriculture, which accounts for 4% of Mexico’s GDP, grew by 2% last year, even as the economy as a whole contracted by 8.5% due to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This result comes from the hard work of Mexican farmers, ranchers, and fishers; courageous and enduring people that, every day, do their best to turn our beautiful fields and seas into the sources of high-quality food that complies with the most exigent demands from international consumers. As a matter of fact, agricultural exports are now more important than tourism and oil exports as a source of foreign exchange.
Mexico, is now the seventh agri-food exporter in the world and thanks to the trust of partners such as the SFVIEA the country is the fifth largest fruit and vegetable world power. This success has been possible, in part, due to Mexico´s very favourable agro-ecological and geographical conditions that translate into a comparative advantage in the production of fruits and vegetables. Mexico’s strengths as a food producer has made it an ideal partner for Singapore’s efforts in diversifying food import sources to attain and improve its food security strategy. Mexico’s authorities and the Embassy work together with Singaporean authorities, logistic suppliers and importers in this common goal. This includes working with importers to organize overseas sourcing trips and business matching sessions with entities such as Enterprise SG, SBF and the Singapore Mexico Chamber of Commerce (SgMxCham), as well as increasing the number of sanitary protocols and seeking accreditation of Mexican processing establishments when necessary.
The year 2022 has become significant for our bilateral engagement with Singapore. On the 26th January 2022, Singapore and the Pacific Alliance (the economic and political agreement formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) signed the Pacific Alliance – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (PASTFA) in Colombia. The ratification process is underway, leading to the transition of Singapore from one of the 61 Observer Countries to the First Associate State of the Alliance.
By the time you read this message, The Embassy will have concluded what was perhaps the biggest and most ambitious Botanical and Cultural Exhibition: “Hanging Gardens, Mexican Roots” held at Gardens by the Bay from 20th August to 25th September 2022, this was an amazing and never before seen in Singapore, array of architectural and monumental sculptural replicas and artworks from several Mesoamerican cultures (Olmeca, Maya, Teotihuacan, Tolteca, Zapoteca, Mixteca, Mexica) accompanied by live botanic samples flown directly from Mexico and cultivated and grown by the staff of the world famous garden, including a display of flowers and plants native to Mexico, Singaporean orchids, an a 250 sqm wide plot area planted with Mexican staples, including tomatoes, zucchini, Chili and archaeological maize seeds (patented genomes from the biodiversity patrimony of Mexico with origin denomination. All to a great reception by Garden By the Bay’s visitors.
This past 20th of September we also celebrated the official Launch of the Singapore – Mexico Chamber of Commerce, a very much needed inclusion to Singapore – Mexico Business community that aims to fulfill the needed role of business advisory demanded by the new complexities and depth of new business flows that have moved from simple trade to high end manufacturing value chain integration, nearshoring, key infrastructure project investments, Fintech partnerships, e-commerce and more. As honorary president of the SgMx Cham, I also invite you to become an active member having no doubt that you will find a welcoming space in its activities, seminars, networking events and trade missions.
One of the lessons that COVID-19 has brought about, is the need to increase the resilience and flexibility of our food distribution channels. We recognize the leadership and entrepreneur spirit of Singaporeans as innovators and leaders in agri-food solutions that have turned the nation’s constraints into strategic advantages, especially in its logistic expertise. We aim to make Mexico the hub for Singapore in the Americas, and Singapore to become our hub in Asia, and Southeast Asia in particular.
As in the XVI century when the Mexican Avocado and Chilies were introduced to the world by the trading route of the Manila Galleon in the 17th and 18th century, joining the coasts of Mexico to south East Asia in the Philippines with robust commercial exchange that influenced many changes in culture and costumes back home, and also enriching the costumes, resources and culinary heritage of Asia Pacific and the world; we now depend of the adventurous spirit of the members of the Singapore Fruit and Vegetable Importers and Exporters Association to bring the best of Mexico to the region.
Viva Mexico!, Viva SFVIEA!