Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	MEXICO CITY 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	17/09/91 

 His Excellency, President Salinas,
Madame Salinas,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.
    Thank  you  for  your  very warm words of welcome to my
wife and I and members of my delegation.   We are  delighted
to have this opportunity to visit your country.   Mexico has
a  rich  historical  and  cultural tradition going back many
thousands of years.  The great Aztec and Maya civilisations,
which were both centred in this land, were  well  known  for
their  achievements, especially in architecture, science and
2.   Today, under Your Excellency's able leadership,  Mexico
continues  in  this  fine  tradition of being a pace-setter.
Your efforts to liberalise Mexico's economy, stimulate  pri-
vate  sector participation and further integrate Mexico with
the world economy have been viewed positively  not  only  in
the  Americas  but also in East Asia.  Your liberal economic
policies also provide new opportunities  for  bilateral  and
inter-regional trade and economic cooperation.
3.   We are living in a time of rapid change and we are con-
fronted  with both challenges and opportunities. A new world
order characterised by the ability of a few powers to impose
their own agenda on the global  community  both  politically
and  economically  appears  to  be in the making.  Political
agendas are being foisted upon countries regardless  of  the
enormous  social  and  economic dislocations that follow and
which often lead to chaos and disintegration.  Malaysia  has
always  practised  democracy  but  we believe that democracy
thrives best in an environment of economic growth  and  free
trade.    It  is  almost  cynical for developed countries to
press for democratic reform while denying  nascent  democra-
cies  market access.  This will only lead to weak and unsta-
ble  democracies  forever  dependent  upon   the   developed
4.   On the economic front, the developed countries continue
to  hold  the  international trading system hostage by their
refusal to eliminate agricultural subsidies.      Without  a
firm  commitment  to internationally agreed rules, developed
countries  appear  to  be  resorting  to  unilateralism  and
regionalism in the conduct of trade.  More ominously, devel-
oped  countries  are  also  increasingly  resorting  to  new
conditionalities ranging from  so-called  human  and  labour
rights  to  environmental  issues  to  hinder  the  economic
progress of developing countries.
5.  In the light of these challenges,  developing  countries
need  to  cooperate more closely with one another.  Our goal
has never been confrontation with others but simply the evo-
lution of a conducive environment that would  enable  us  to
prosper  and  grow.    Malaysia looks forward to cooperating
with Mexico in pursuit of this vital objective.
6.   Apart from  this,  we  must  also  enhance  cooperation
amongst  developing  countries.   You may recall that at the
first summit meeting of G-15 countries, we  agreed  to  make
this  a priority issue.  In pursuit of this objective I have
travelled to many developing countries  including  those  in
the Americas, to explore avenues for greater South-South co-
operation.  While there are many opportunities for trade and
cooperation,  they  are very frequently left unexploited be-
cause of our preoccupation with established markets.   Coop-
eration  amongst developing countries does not have to be at
the expense of our linkages with established  markets.    It
should result in additional markets which can help us diver-
sify  and  perhaps  reduce our over-dependence on just a few
7.   It can also help identify new sources of technology for
us.  Several developing countries are now  participating  in
Malaysia`s  development  programmes including road building,
construction, rural electrification and heavy industry.   We
are  satisfied with their work and will continue to open our
economy to developing countries.  We also  welcome  Mexico's
participation.    Indeed,  a  Mexican company is already in-
volved in our steel industry.
8.   I am convinced that the economic liberalisation that is
now sweeping much of the developing world will result  in  a
new  era  of progress and prosperity and provide greater op-
portunities for mutual cooperation  among  developing  coun-
tries.    It  would  be  tragic  if  the  liberalisation  of
developing countries only benefit the developed countries.
9.   Earlier I had  mentioned  the  trend  towards  economic
regionalism.   In the Americas, Mexico's decision to negoti-
ate membership of a North American Free Trade Area or  NAFTA
is  highly  significant.    Malaysia and others in East Asia
have some concern as to how this could effect  international
trade.  We, however, look to Mexico to help ensure that such
a  regional  grouping does not adversely affect the free and
open international trading system that we all  depend  upon.
Most  developing  countries need access to a broad spread of
markets and therefore do not want to see the world  fracture
along economic fault lines.
10.   In East Asia, there is increasing concern over the fu-
ture of the international trading system.   The  East  Asian
economies  today  enjoy  some of the highest growth rates in
the world and we have  prospered  because  of  international
trade.  The non-progress of the Uruguay Round and increasing
trade  disputes is therefore something we worry about.  With
this in mind, Malaysia has proposed the formation of an East
Asia Economic Group that would be committed to upholding the
open international trading  system.    It  would  act  as  a
consultative forum to discuss issues affecting international
trade  and  play a balancing role in support of the interna-
tional free trading system.
11.  I know Your Excellency fully share this  commitment  to
international trade and economic cooperation.   Since coming
to  office,  you have in fact given emphasis to Mexico's re-
lations with other regions  and  especially  with  the  Asia
Pacific  region.    Mexico is active in the Pacific Economic
Cooperative Council (PECC) and the  Pacific  Basin  Economic
Council (PBEC) and has moved to establish a diplomatic pres-
ence   in  most  of  the  Asia-Pacific  countries  including
Malaysia.  I welcome this very much.   Mexico is as  much  a
Pacific  nation  as  other  North American countries and can
play a useful role in emerging structures of Pacific cooper-
ation including APEC.  You can therefore be sure of our sup-
port in this regard.
12. We have had very fruitful discussions today.  As we both
agreed, the opportunities for  mutually  beneficial  cooper-
ation are vast.  Both the Bilateral Payment Arrangement that
was signed last August and the Trade Agreement which we will
sign  will  give  stronger impetus to bilateral cooperation.
More importantly will be the contacts  that  our  respective
private  sectors will establish in the course of this visit.
I am greatly heartened by your  own  commitment  to  private
sector  cooperation  as  evidenced  by your decision to meet
personally with the Malaysian businessmen in my  delegation.
This cannot but augur well for the future of our relations.
13.  Before  I conclude, may I once again thank you for your
kind hospitality and for receiving us with such  warmth  and
friendship.  We will certainly take back with us many pleas-
ant memories of our visit to Mexico.
Ladies and gentlemen,
14.  May  I now invite you to join me in a toast to the good
health of  His  Excellency  President  Salinas  and  to  the
friendship and cooperation between Mexico and Malaysia.