Mexico under pressure: Partnering for multilateralism | DW Freedom | Speech. Expression. Media. | DW | 23.05.2019
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Mexico under pressure: Partnering for multilateralism

In a time of uncertainty, Mexico remains an important partner for Germany, says Peter Tempel, German ambassador to Mexico.

Alexander von Humboldt would have been 250 years old this year. Under the patronage of the German Federal President, we remember this exceptional scholar not only in Germany. In Latin America, too, we are celebrating the "first German Ambassador" on this continent with a season of events.

Today, Humboldt is still well-known in Mexico, where he travelled in 1803 and 1804. His name adorns houses, streets and the renowned German school, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in Mexico this year. Through his unique descriptions, Humboldt presented this fascinating country to an enthusiastic readership in Europe and all over the world. Germany's fascination with Mexico has been lasting; today we can look back on a close and long friendship between our countries.

Read more: Alexander von Humboldt: Author Andrea Wulf revives epic South American adventure

Mexico has much to offer the world. Even in Humboldt's time it was rich in raw materials and it still is today: gold and silver, fruit and vegetables, oil. Likewise, there is one of the world's largest diversity of species. It is not surprising that Mexico was the cradle of pre-Hispanic advanced civilizations such as the Aztecs and Maya.

painting of Humboldt in his study (picture-alliance/akg-images)

2019 marks what would have been explorer Alexander Humboldt's 250th birthday

Mexico has experienced many developments since Humboldt. According to the counting method of the new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, after independence (1810/21), the reform under Benito Juárez (1858/61) and the revolution (1910/19), Mexico today is facing its fourth transformation. The government has identified important issues, above all the fight against corruption and the improvement of the security situation in the country. A positive development in these areas is also important for Mexico as a business location.

An important industrial economy

Mexico, like Germany, is one of the few remaining industrial nations in the world. Today, approximately 2,000 German companies have offices in Mexico and have transformed the country into one of the most important production locations of the German economy. Almost all German DAX-30 industrial companies have their own production facilities in the country. Mexico is Germany's most important trading partner in Latin America and as important for the German economy as Brazil and Argentina put together.

Read more: 'There is no free press': Media freedom in Mexico

At the political level, Mexico has also become an important partner for Germany on global issues. This partnership is based on a solid foundation, which we are constantly deepening. One example is the German-Mexican Binational Commission, which has been meeting at government level every two years since 2015 on the topics of politics, business and energy, sustainable development, the environment and climate change, science, research and innovation, as well as culture and education. This year, Mexico will once again host the meeting and receive numerous high-ranking visitors from Germany.

Peter Tempel profile image (picture alliance / dpa)

Peter Tempel, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mexico

Cooperation 'more important than ever'

We are currently living in times when the rules of international politics have come under pressure. For Mexico and Germany, as partners of the G20 countries, it is therefore more important than ever that we stand up for cooperation within the framework of the international order and advocate multilateralism, an open, rule-compliant market organization and fair trade.

Read more: DW Freedom of Speech Award 2019 goes to Anabel Hernández from Mexico

In a world of global networks, we must see ourselves as part of an overall structure and cooperate along the lines of global rules. In this sense, the quotation attributed to Alexander von Humboldt is more topical than ever: Everything is interaction!

Peter Tempel has served as ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mexico since September 2018. Previously, he was ambassador to Spain and head of Germany’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

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