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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó held talks in Mexico on economic issues on Tuesday and is scheduled to sign an agreement on Hungary granting 2 billion forints (EUR 6.23m) for the reconstruction of two Catholic churches in Mexico. Szijjártó told MTI by phone that he had met Mexican Minister of Economy Graciela Marquez Colin. The Hungarian government launched a policy of opening to the south in 2015 which placed emphasis on cooperation with Latin American countries with fast-growing economies, he added. The development of Mexican-Hungarian relations has well demonstrated the success of the scheme, Szijjártó said. Mexico is Hungary’s number one trading partner in the region, with bilateral trade exceeding 1 billion dollars last year, including 875 million dollars of exports, he added.

The Mexican economy is the second most significant one in Latin America, after Brazil’s, he said. Mexico’s growing car industry is seeking European partners and import demand is large for pharmaceuticals and health equipment. The challenges faced by Mexico’s agriculture have generated interest in European irrigation technologies, he added. Opportunities for Hungarian businesses are available in the Mexican market in those four areas, Szijjártó said. Additionally, the government has opened a 620 million dollar credit line in Eximbank to help promote Hungarian companies’ activities in Mexico, he said.

The fact that Mexico is the world’s second largest Catholic country is also important, “creating a link with Hungary which has been a Christian country for a thousand years”, he said. Szijjártó noted that Mexico was hit by a serious earthquake in 2017 which caused damages in churches. He added that he would sign an agreement with Minister of Culture Alejandra Fausto on support for the rebuilding of two Catholic churches. One of them is a cloister in the countryside and the other is in the centre of Mexico City. The latter’s painted windows are illustrated with images of Hungarian saints, he said.