Mexico is working to expand trade ties with China, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday, believing boosting agricultural exports to Asia "represents a great area of opportunity for economic growth."
The push is part of a larger strategy to diversify Mexico's export markets at a time when the country's main trading partner, the United States, is looking to protect domestic industry and jobs by trimming trade ties.
Representatives from Mexico's national food quality and safety agency (SENASICA) are currently in Beijing to try to speed up the process of meeting import standards and pave the way for banana exports to China.
"This opening represents a great opportunity for Mexican bananas, which currently ship mainly to the United States and Europe," the ministry said.
Mexico has the capacity to produce some 20,800 tons of bananas for export, bringing in revenues of 104 million U.S. dollars a year, said the ministry.
In the past three years, China has granted Mexico 11 licenses to export a range of products, from pork and beef to powdered milk and infant formula, berries, and tobacco leaf, among others.
Regarding agricultural products, China "is our second biggest trade partner in Asia, with annual food exports of more than 300 million dollars," said the ministry.
Mexico also ships beer, avocado and fish to China, the world's leading importer of food items.