Under FTA, Mexico seeks to be major source of food for Japan

Kyodo News

Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Alberto Cardenas Jimenez is pitching the country’s food products, ranging from avocados to meat, seafood, fruit and coffee, to penetrate the Japanese market by capitalizing on the bilateral free-trade agreement.

Jimenez, who visited Japan earlier this month to promote his country’s food and beverages, said Mexican exports to Japan have grown steadily since the FTA came into force in April 2005 but added the Latin American nation will make further efforts to boost trade.

“Japan is the most sophisticated market and demands high-quality items,” Jimenez said.

Under the FTA, two-way trade in fiscal 2007 expanded 85.6 percent from fiscal 2004 to ¥1.544 trillion, according to Japan Customs.

Acknowledging that the key to making Mexican food items more popular in the Japanese market will be delivering “clean” products, Jimenez said success here would give a competitive edge to Mexican items sold in the rest of the world.

He said Mexican farmers try to limit the use of chemicals and pesticides. He added Japan has the potential to buy more Mexican food items because it is so heavily dependent on food imports.