By Patricia Rodriguez.


Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto called in London Tuesday for expanded "cooperation and trade" between his country and Britain based on their shared vision of "free trade."

Following a very busy agenda, Peña Nieto made use of the third stopover on his first European tour after the July 1 elections to share his "vision" with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and businessmen from the City of London, the nation's financial center.

After previous visits to Berlin and Madrid, the politico continued making his "first contacts" with European leaders to create a "climate of understanding that will favor cooperation between Mexico and nations of the EU."

Peña Nieto said Tuesday that the priorities of his government include "achieving economic growth, fighting poverty more efficiently, better coverage and quality of education, and improving security."

About the final point, while acknowledging that is is "one of the most painful subjects and biggest priorities for Mexicans," he said that "the image projected abroad these days is worse than what life in Mexico is really like."

Upon his arrival at Downing Street, the president was met by a dozen activists - mostly young Mexicans - who decried with banners and shouts the supposed "electoral fraud" in their country and expressed their opposition to the head of the Institutional Revolutionary Party being the next president.

After that first meeting of some 40 minutes with the Tory leader, which Peña Nieto described as "positive and very favorable," both politicians committed themselves to doubling bilateral trade by 2015 to the amount of 4.2 billion pounds (5.2 billion euros or $6.8 billion), according to the official British spokesperson.

Another activity on the agenda was a lunch with potential investors, British business owners and executives, to whom Peña Nieto revealed his plans that include a new tax reform in Mexico with which he hopes to attract more investment and promote growth.

The measure, he said, would "establish a simplified tax system" and make the governmment "give more of an accounting of itself and be more transparent," besides generating "greater incentives for investment" in his country."

Concluding his busy day at the residence of the Mexican ambassador in London, Peña Nieto made a brief statement to reporters, who were not allowed to ask questions, recalling that Britain is one of the countries of the European Union with the greatest amount of investment in Mexico.

"In fact, this is the country after Spain that has invested most in Mexico," he said.

Mexico's president-elect ends his European tour Wednesday in Paris, where he will lunch with French President Francois Hollande. EFE