Binyamin Netanyahu, Mexican Pres. Enrique Pena-Nieto (file)
Binyamin Netanyahu, Mexican Pres. Enrique Pena-Nieto (file)Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90

Israel and Mexico sealed an industrial research and development (R&D) agreement over the weekend according to a government statement released Monday, putting the two nations in position to further advance their bilateral ties in a variety of joint projects.

The agreement, which was signed by Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Rodica Radian Gordon, will see the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and its Mexican counterpart CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) arrange funding for Israeli and Mexican companies engaging in joint R&D projects.

"We are delighted with Mexico’s vote of confidence in Israel’s economy, industry and innovation, which have long been global brands," said Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy Avi Hasson.

Hasson added "cooperation agreements such as the one signed with Mexico contribute to the Israeli market by creating new jobs, advancing R&D, technological enterprise and more."

Primary among the fields of cooperation will be water management, desert agriculture, pharma and medical devices, electronics and communication, although all types of technological cooperation are covered by the framework of the agreement.

The agreement with Mexico comes after Israel in July became the first country with which Japan signed an Industrial R&D (research and development) Collaboration Agreement, amid part of a growing push to solidify Japanese ties.

With the new Mexican agreement, the path is paved to advance similar agreements and ties with other Latin American countries including Brazil, Chile and Colombia.

On the heels of the new agreement, a call will be issued early next year to companies in Israel and Mexico to present joint proposals for funding on R&D projects.

"Mexico is one of the world's largest manufacturers in a variety of fields, comprising an essential part of the country's economy," said Rona Kotler Ben Aroya, Trade Attaché to Mexico from the Israeli Ministry of Economy. "Many of its products are intended for the North American market."

"In an effort to preserve its global competitiveness, the Mexican government has set a goal of advancing research and development...the signing of the industrial R&D agreement between Israel and Mexico will help Israeli companies integrate products and advanced technologies with local manufacturers and realize the potential of this market," said Aroya.