Mexican president urges Japan to enter TPP negotiations

Tokyo, Apr 8 (EFE).- Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan had his "backing and support" for entering the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, an effort to create a free trade area spanning the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico considers it vital to "work more closely and achieve greater trade" with Japan, the world's third-largest economy, Peña Nieto said in a press conference.

The bilateral cooperation agreement signed with Japan will help spur "academic exchanges and technology cooperation that will allow the promotion of economic growth," a priority shared by both governments, the Mexican leader said.

Mexico is a "friend and a strategic partner for Japanese diplomacy in Latin America," Abe said.

Japan considers entry into the TPP "a first step" in its efforts to deal with the nation's economic ills, the prime minister said.

The TPP was initially signed in 2005 by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, with Malaysia, Peru, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United States and Vietnam joining later.

TPP members are negotiating the creation of the world's most dynamic trade zone, a market with about 658 million people.