Mexico: Participate in TPP talks


Mexico would welcome Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks because it would help make the free-trade pact “a very important actor” in the international community, Mexican Ambassador to Japan Claude Heller said.

Mexico, along with Japan and Canada, expressed interest in joining the TPP talks last November.

Adding the three nations to the TPP’s current nine negotiating members, including the United States, would boost their overall output to 40 percent of world gross domestic product and greatly enhance imports and exports between them, Heller said in an interview Wednesday.

The ambassador also said that as Mexico next month will be the first Latin American nation to host a Group of 20 summit, it will play an “important and relevant role in helping all the processes that the G-20 has been engaged in.”

Mexico will host the summit of the G-20 major advanced and developing countries in Los Cabos on June 18 to 19.

As the G-20 chair, Mexico will emphasize the issues of strengthening the financial system and fostering financial inclusion to promote economic growth, and improving the international financial architecture in an interconnected world.

Japan’s $60 billion pledge last month as part of coordinated efforts by members of the International Monetary Fund to boost its lending resources by more than $430 billion “has very well been received,” Heller said.

Such coordinated efforts to help stabilize the global financial system will continue to be high on the agenda through the G-20 meetings, he said.

Meanwhile, Mexico has been an investment attraction for many domestic automakers and auto parts makers, including Mazda Motor Corp. , Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. , since the conclusion of an economic partnership agreement with Japan in 2004.

Mazda plans to invest $500 million to build a new production plant in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Mexico is “grateful for the confidence Japanese companies have expressed” in the country, the ambassador said, citing the quality of the workforce, stability and its commitment to respecting agreements.

Nissan Spain EV plant


Nissan Motor Co. said it is investing €100 million (about ¥10 billion) in a plant in Barcelona making electric vehicles, creating 700 jobs.

Production of the e-NV200 model starts next year and becomes the second fully electric vehicle produced at the plant, a Nissan statement said Thursday.

The automaker also produces the Leaf electric car and aims to be the biggest producer of light commercial vehicles by 2016.

“The new model will offer all the spaciousness, versatility and practicality of a traditionally powered compact van, but with zero CO2 emissions,” Andy Palmer, executive vice president for Nissan, said in the statement.

The new model is based on the existing NV200 van, which has sold about 100,000 units. The jobs will be both at the Nissan plant and with local suppliers.

Mitsuoka Thai output


Mitsuoka Motor Co. said it will start production of its fully remodeled Viewt classic compact in Thailand from July, expanding its overseas production lineup.

The new Viewt, built on the base of Nissan Motor Co.’s March, will be Mitsuoka’s third model produced in Thailand for Asian markets following the Galue sedan and Himiko convertible, according to the automaker.

“I am hoping this model will gain popularity as an entry model of Mitsuoka Motor, not only in Japan but also overseas,” Takanari Kawamura, vice president of the Toyama-based automaker, said Wednesday in Tokyo.

Mitsuoka said the Viewt will go on sale in Japan on Thursday, with a suggested retail price starting at ¥2.05 million.