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After tequila, Mexico and China discuss more trade


Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto thanked Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday for allowing imports of premium tequila as they discussed trade opportunities before G20 talks in Russia.

The two leaders held their third meeting in just six months following previous talks in China and Mexico aimed at deeping economic bonds between nations that have spared over trade in the past.

In a statement, the Mexican president's office said Pena Nieto "thanked President Xi Jinping for his support and the political willingness of his government to allow the entry of priority Mexican products in the Chinese market such as pork and 100 percent blue agave tequila."

A first shipment of more than 70,000 bottles of the highest quality tequila worth $400,000 was sent on Friday after China lifted a ban based on high methanol content.

"Based on this progress, the presidents agreed to continue promoting more opportunities for access for Mexican agricultural goods," the Mexican president's office said.

On the eve of the Group of 20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Xi and Pena Nieto oversaw the signature of an agreement creating a high-level panel of officials from both governments to promote investments, the statement said.

Pena Nieto also conveyed his interest in accepting Xi's invitation to make a state visit to China next year.

The trade balance is heavily titled in China's favor, with Mexico importing $57 billion worth of Chinese goods while exporting $5.7 billion to the Asian giant last year.

The Mexican president's office said the two leaders discussed the work that remains "to get more balanced commercial exchanges, promote more exports of Mexican products to China and increase investment flows from China to Mexico."