By Paola Martinez Castro.


President Enrique Peña Nieto plans to consolidate the "strategy of moving closer to countries in the Asia-Pacific region" before completing his first year in office, allowing Mexico to expand trade and investment, Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade told Efe.

Peña Nieto will bolster Mexico's relations with the region in a "brief period," following up on his visits to China and Japan, with upcoming trips planned to Turkey, Singapore and Indonesia, Meade said in a telephone interview from Singapore.

This will allow Mexico to have a greater presence in a region "that has been very dynamic, with very important growth in its economy," the foreign relations secretary said.

The Asia-Pacific region offers opportunities for greater trade that can translate into investment and job creation in Mexico, Meade said.

The president will travel to Turkey after delivering his first state of the nation address on Sept. 1, traveling from there to the Group of 20 Summit, which will be held in St. Petersburg Sept. 5-6, the foreign relations secretary said.

Peña Nieto will be the first Mexican president to visit Turkey in the 85 years that the countries have had bilateral relations, with links going back 150 years to the time of the Ottoman Empire, Meade said.

Trade relations with Turkey "are still incipient, at approximately $300 million," offering outstanding "potential for trade and shared investment," the foreign relations secretary said.

Peña Nieto's Singapore visit, whose details are being finalized with officials from the Asian country, will take place Oct. 3-5, Meade said.

Meade met on Saturday with Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam to iron out the details for the visit by Peña Nieto, who took office on Dec. 1. EFE