Mexican President Felipe Calderon to attend FIFA World Cup opening game on 11 June 2010

President Felipe Calderon accompanied by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa will attend the World Cup opening game between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City. President Jacob Zuma has extended an invitation to Mexican President F Calderon to attend the opening game and undertake a working visit.  During the recent successful Bi-National Commission (BNC), International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane paid a coutesy call on President Calderon and reiterated the invitation from President Zuma.

The Bi-national Commission is an important mechanism for constructive engagement and dialogue between the two countries, both at a political, bilateral and multilateral co-operation level.  The inaugural session of the BNC underscored the significance of the maturing relations between Mexico and South Africa.

Beyond political and trade relations, the two countries have recognised the significance of people-to-people contact as a means of strengthening the existing relations. In Mexico, the FIFA soccer World Cup and the fact that the opening game is between South Africa and Mexico, has generated immnese interest in South Africa.  It is expected that 15 000 Mexican fans will decend upon our shores to follow the Mexican team, Tricolores.

Mexico is SA’s third largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean whilst SA is Mexico’s largest trading partner in Africa. Mexican exports to SA include, amongst other products, wheeled tractors, nuclear reactors, machinery and equipment, boilers, paper and paperboards, metal ores and slag and ashes, organic chemical products, beverages, vinegar and spirits, glass and glassware, smelting, iron and steel. SA’s exports to Mexico include; cereals, raw hides and skins, leather, spirits, aluminium and articles thereof, tanning and dying extracts,  vehicles, automobiles, tractors, products of chemicals and related industries.

Trade Figures 2009

Exports Imports
R1.21 Billion R2.25 Billion

In 2010, Mexico celebrates 200 years Independence and 100 years of the Mexican Revolution. Mexico will also be hosting the World Youth Summit from 27-29 August 2010 and South Africa will participate at the event. Similarly, Mexico is to host COP 16 in December 2010, followed by SA hosting COP 17 in 2011.  Mexico already hosted informal meetings on this climate change conference.  SA was represented at these meeting and it is expected that SA and Mexico will engage on climate change issues as the conference nears. 

For more information contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy at DIRCO, Mr Saul Molobi, on +27 351 0083, +27 82 940 1647 or email him at

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
 10 June 2010

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