02:22 GMT09 August 2020
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she hoped the European Union and Mexico will agree a free trade deal by the end of this year, during a press briefing in Mexico City.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The EU and Mexico launched talks in May 2016 to modernize their Global Agreement, including rules on trade. The next round is scheduled for later this month.

    "We have the same opinion on it," Merkel said, standing side by side with President Enrique Pena Nieto. "Germany will advocate speedy negotiations to try and conclude the talks this year."

    Germany has also been following Mexico’s talks with the United States and Canada on the regional NAFTA trade pact that is to be renegotiated after Washington threatened to quit over lost jobs.

    President Pena Nieto said Mexico was ready for NAFTA talks with its two American partners. He said he expected the negotiations to begin around mid-August.

    "We have a continuing dialogue and looking with optimism at the opportunity to modernize this free trade agreement," he told reporters.

    The president added he wanted German firms to see Mexico as a reliable investment target. He estimated trade between Mexico and Germany at an annual $18 billion, saying the EU-Mexico trade deal would shore up trade between the two countries.

    Merkel thanked the Mexican leader for taking the interests of foreign firms into account during talks with the new US administration. She said Berlin wanted to cooperate with both Mexico and the United States.


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