Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto set out here Friday on an Asian tour whose main objective is to establish closer economic and trade ties.

Peña Nieto, who took office Dec. 1, arrived Friday in Hong Kong on a four-day visit to China.

"I'm convinced that Mexico must strengthen its alliances with its Asian partners, which are some of the world's most dynamic economies and are real drivers of growth and innovation," he told the Hong Kong press.

One of the concrete goals of Peña Nieto's brief stay in Hong Kong is to further develop the aerial trade route between Mexico and the former British colony.

From here, Peña Nieto will travel to the Chinese island of Hainan to take part in the Boao Forum for Asia and hold bilateral talks with China's new president, Xi Jinping, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other leaders.

The choice of China as one of Peña Nieto's first overseas destinations was not made by chance, taking into account that the Asian giant is Mexico's second trade partner, trailing only the United States and accounting for 15 percent of the Aztec nation's imports. EFE