Chinese investment in Mexico has risen in recent years but still falls well short of its true potential considering the bilateral trade volume, which amounted to $62 billion in 2012, Mexico's ambassador to the Asian giant said.

Julian Ventura made his remarks at the inauguration of the Annual Meeting of Chinese and Foreign Investment Promotion Agencies.

Chinese direct investment in Mexico totaled $280.7 million through September 2013, according to a transcript of Ventura's speech, which was released Thursday in Beijing.

That figure could rise to $600 million, however, if investments by overseas subsidiaries of Chinese companies are taken into account.

"Chinese investment has grown in recent years, but it is still far from reaching its true potential," Ventura said.

This is especially true given the size of the two economies and the bilateral trade volume, which totaled $62 billion in 2012 and is projected to have grown between 8 percent and 9 percent last year.

Foreign direct investment flows to Mexico amounted to nearly $24 billion in the first three quarters of 2013, up 115 percent from the same period of the previous year, the ambassador said.

"Clearly there's a lot of room to grow," said Ventura, whose country has established much closer ties with China since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012.

Peña Nieto and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met on three occasions in 2013 and the Mexican president plans to make another state visit to the Asian country this year.

Bilateral relations also have been boosted by stronger trade and investment ties and greater cooperation in the education, scientific/technical and cultural spheres. EFE