Key holds talks with Mexican president
Wednesday 6 Mar 2013 4:36 p.m.
The Prime Minister is tonight off to Colombia, after a day of fanfare in Mexico.
John Key is on a tour of Latin America to boost trade, and today met the Mexican president.
At Chapultepec Castle – the presidential castle used to film Romeo + Juliet – Mr Key and Enrique Peña Nieto were making their own kind of romance. But the castle wasn't meant to be the venue - the welcome party was moved there late yesterday after concern about education protests, which police fear could turn violent.
As the protestors marched towards the castle, the leaders were keen to talk trade.
Mexico is the largest Latin American country we export to. Mexico is worth $280 million to New Zealand exporters.
Tonight Mr Key travels to Colombia, worth $13 million in exports. Next is Chile, currently $77 million, and finally Brazil with $81 million. That's a total of $450 million in exports.
But there is of course another side of Mexico the Prime Minister will never see. Despite the fast-growing economy, 60 percent of people there live in poverty. There is an enormous gap between rich and poor.
At a small market, 3 News finds a woman who has been peeling onions on the same chair for 56 years. She makes the equivalent of NZ$15 a day. She's middle class and proud.
From poor to palatial, across town at the castle both leaders commit to increase trade.
“We do see Mexico as a leader in Latin America, in this part of the world,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key says the potential for growing exports is large, but Mexico has much more pressing domestic issues it's grappling with. It is a country full of contrasts and layers – something the market onion peeler knows all too well.