Business and Trade Secretary targets progress on post-Brexit trade wins in first visit to Mexico

Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade – Kemi Badenoch MP. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch is visiting Mexico today [9th February] to progress two significant post-Brexit deals, remove barriers to business, and grow both UK exports and investment.

On a two-day visit to Mexico City she will hold talks with her cabinet counterparts, including Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro, to discuss the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and a new bilateral UK-Mexico deal.

The UK is nearing the final stages of talks to join the £9 trillion (GDP) Indo-Pacific trade bloc made up of some of the world’s biggest current and future economies. Joining could give UK businesses tariff-free access on over 99% of goods to a market of around 500 million customers. 

The UK is also renegotiating our Free Trade Agreement with Mexico – first agreed 20 years ago – to bring it into the digital age, and ensure it reflects UK strengths in areas like services and tech.

Our ‘Mexico 2.0’ deal could transform the UK’s relationship with the world’s 16th biggest economy and open up one of the world’s largest consumer markets – with a population projected to reach nearly 150 million by 2035.

A new UK-Mexico deal would aim to deliver major opportunities for small businesses across the country as well as the financial services and tech sectors thanks to expansive services provisions, boosting the £1.9bn worth of services trade the UK already does with Mexico.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

Mexico is a top-20 global economy, and a core member of the exciting trans-pacific trade bloc. I’m here to push progress on two significant post-Brexit wins that will not only benefit British businesses, but also show what the UK has to offer CPTPP countries.

We will add £2 trillion to the bloc’s GDP when we join, taking it up to 15% of the world’s GDP, and will add a strong voice promoting free trade and defending against protectionism on the global stage.

Whilst there, the Business and Trade Secretary will meet with the Finance Minister Rogelio Ramírez de la O and finance firms to discuss opportunities for British businesses to tap into the country’s fast-growing fintech sector – the second largest in Latin America. 

Kemi Badenoch, who also serves as the UK’s Equalities Minister, will launch the next phase of the UK’s Gender Pay Gap project in Mexico, aimed at upskilling Mexican businesses and government stakeholders on gender pay gap reporting.

The project aligns with both countries’ commitment to include a dedicated trade and gender equality chapter in the FTA which aims to break down barriers faced disproportionately by women in trade.

She flew straight from Rome, fresh after signing a new trade partnership to promote investment and exports between the UK and Italy. The last visit to Mexico by a cabinet minister for trade was in 2017, when Liam Fox visited in July.

According to ONS trade data for the last 12 months to November 2022 some of our top imports from Mexico are:

  • Cars & other vehicles £172m
  • Telecoms and sound equipment (ie smartphones, sound recording equipment etc) £133m
  • Beverages (ie beer, tequila) £57m
  • Fruit and vegetables (including mangos, avocados and lemons and more) £43m

Some of our top exports to Mexico are:

  • Beverages (including whisky) £144m
  • Cars and other vehicles £105m
  • Iron and steel £63m
  • Misc electrical goods (ie fridges, insulating equipment etc) £46m


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