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Spain, Mexico seek even closer business ties

Mexico City, July 3 - A trade and investment forum under way in this capital aims to enhance the already close business links between Mexico and Spain.

Business leaders from both countries have scheduled some 200 bilateral encounters to become acquainted and to explore opportunities.

One of the speakers at the 7th Spain-Mexico Investment and Cooperation Forum, Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade CEO Maria del Coriseo Gonzalez-Izquierdo, highlighted the international dynamism of her country's firms.

Commercial exchanges between Mexico and Spain totaled $11.2 billion last year.

Only Mexico's NAFTA partners - the US and Canada - have a higher volume of trade with the Aztec nation.

Spain is also Mexico's leading foreign investor after the US, with more than $42 billion in investments since 2000.

Spanish companies are leaders in key sectors of the Mexican economy, notably finance, while Mexico is Spain's principal oil supplier.

"Spain's economy runs on Mexican fuel," Spanish Ambassador to Mexico Manuel Alabart said during the opening of the forum at a hotel in the capital.

Mexico's deputy foreign trade secretary, Francisco de Rosenzweig, pointed out that Spain accounted for 17.8 percent of his country's total trade with the 27-member European Union in 2012.

Even so, he said, there is room for growth, especially in the context of ongoing talks about updating the 2000 Mexico-EU trade accord. (IANS)