LONDON, May 20 — Britain and Mexico kicked off negotiations today to pin down a post-Brexit free trade deal, the UK government announced.

The talks, seeking to boost a trade relationship worth £4 billion (RM21 billion), will aim to replace a prior agreement inherited from the European Union.

“This enhanced deal would transform our relationship with Mexico, making the most of the immense opportunities its dynamic business landscape and young, growing population offer,” said International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan in a statement.

The minister began talks with Mexican counterpart Tatiana Clouthier at midday.

Britain hopes to open up one of the world’s largest consumer markets, with Mexico’s population forecast to hit 150 million people by 2035.

“Mexico is a major market for UK exporters,” added the statement from the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

“It is in a strategically situated part of the world, serving as a gateway to the Americas as well as to the dynamic trans-Pacific region. “UK negotiators will look to go further and deeper in areas like services and technology, boosting a trade relationship already worth over £4 billion.” The UK left the European Union in January 2021 and has since been pursuing deals across the world to boost international trade.

Britain has so far clinched agreements with the EU and other European nations, and some distant countries like Australia.

Talks are still ongoing with Canada and India.

London regards a deal with Washington as a key priority but this has so far proved elusive. — AFP