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Mark Garnier speech to the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico
Speech delivered to British and Mexican business leaders in Mexico City
I would like to thank the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico for inviting me here to speak, and congratulate them on fostering closer commercial ties between the UK and Mexico for over 95 years.
My first visit to Mexico as a Minister at the Department for International Trade couldn’t have come at a more important time.
Global trade - the very thing that has driven out poverty and ushered in prosperity for millions across the world; that has seen the flow of technology, talent and ideas across borders; and that has sustained our public services - is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown in growth.
The WTO has warned that, for the first time, protectionist measures are being instigated at a faster rate than they are being removed.
Free trade needs champions now more than ever.
So my message to you all today is simple. The UK, with the help of partners such as Mexico, will be the most passionate advocate for global free trade anywhere in the world.
I want to outline three areas we will focus on to make that aim a reality.
Firstly, I want the UK and Mexico to build on our history of co-operation: not just across trade, but across diplomacy and culture too.
Second, we will build a Global Britain, which will retain the closest possible relations with our European friends, but also revive and strengthen relations further afield.
And finally, we will keep Britain open for business, maintaining and promoting our world leading business environment.
Let me begin by talking about our bilateral relations.
Diplomatically, we have never been stronger.
2015 was a ‘Dual Year’ for our 2 countries – which saw an unprecedented level of collaboration around the arts, science and innovation, tourism and trade – not to mention a state visit to the UK by your President.
It was a reminder that although thousands of miles apart, our 2 countries remain like-minded long term strategic partners on global issues.