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A new development stage in Russian-Mexican cooperation

From 22 to 25 January, Expoforum International’s department of strategic communication, with support from the Convention Bureau and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organised a visit by the leaders of Mexico’s MICE industry to St. Petersburg. During the visit, the delegation visited the Expoforum convention and exhibition centre, met with representatives of St. Petersburg’s business community and discussed the trajectory of cooperation as part of the ninth Eurasian Event Forum.

We are so distant, yet so similar

On 22 January, Sergey Voronkov, CEO of Expoforum International and president of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, held an informal meeting with Mr. Gonzalo Novelo Lujan, president of the Mexican Association of Professionals in Exhibitions, Fairs and Conventions (AMPROFEC), and Mr. Pablo Quiroz Cantu, head of the Department of Trade and Tourism with Asian Countries of the Economic Development and Tourism Office of the city of Merida. The participants of the meeting noted the similarity in mentality of Russian and Mexican people and discussed the possibility of cooperation between event organisers from the two states and a mutual cultural exchange.

‘For us, coming to Russia is a dream come true,’ revealed Gonzalo Novelo Lujan, ‘we want to popularise Russian culture and prove to the people of Mexico that Russia is not as distant and not as complex as we often think.’

As a souvenir, the president of AMPROFEC presented Sergey Voronkov with a book: ’30 лет AMPROFEC’, which was published to mark the association’s thirtieth anniversary, as well as a sample of the heat of Mexico – the most famous national drink – tequila. Once the meeting had concluded, the guests were given a tour of the Expoforum convention and exhibition centre and were acquainted with St. Petersburg’s MICE infrastructure.

Business tourism: future and prospects

On 23 January, Mr. Gonzalo Novelo Lujan, Mr. Pablo Quiroz Cantu and Mr. Armando Fernando Escudero Chavez, attaché for press and tourism of the Mexican Embassy in the Russian Federation, took part in the work of the ninth Eurasian Event Forum, held from 22 to 24 January in the PetroCongress convention centre. The forum’s overarching theme was achieving sustainable development in the events industry in accordance with the 17 goals set out by the UN. At the discussion session ‘Sustainable development of a destination as a competitive advantage when attracting business events and establishing the reputation of territories’, the speakers assessed the current condition and the potential of Russia’s business tourism industry, having defined its role in convention and exhibition activities.

‘We are fully committed to strengthening our relations with Russia,’ affirmed Armando Fernando Escudero Chavez, ‘Mexico holds many events, exhibitions and fairs, 53% of which are business trips.’ According to the latest research, business tourism has brought in 25 million dollars to Mexico’s economy.

Mexico is third in the world in terms of countries which actively use UN practices. ‘What’s more, our country has the fourth highest number of conventions, with 172. For comparison, Russia is in 42nd place. We have various halls and centres for holding conventions, forums and exhibitions. There is a real ‘boom’ happening now in Mexico’s events industry, which we will do everything we can to support,’ announced the speaker.

From diplomacy to practical solutions

On 24 January, a meeting was held in the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry between guests from Mexico and representatives of St. Petersburg’s business community. The main topics of discussion covered bilateral communication in the fields of tourism, investment, introducing Russian goods to the Mexican market and getting Mexican goods onto the market of St. Petersburg.

Ekaterina Lebedeva, vice president of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed participants to the meeting, Armando Fernando Escudero Chavez focused on the possibilities offered by Mexico’s business tourism for entrepreneurs and Gonzalo Novelo Lujan presented his expert point of view on expanding trade and economic cooperation through exhibitions.

The speakers expressed their hope that the friendship and mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Mexico would gain momentum and the activities and cooperation between the National Committee for Promotion of Economic Cooperation with Latin America and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry will help this to happen.

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