Dual Year

The governments of Mexico and the United Kingdom decided to celebrate the "Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom" and the "Year of the United Kingdom in Mexico" in 2015 to promote better understanding between our societies.

We are certain that this Dual Year will motivate business, exchange and cooperation in various areas, greatly adding to what we have already achieved in our bilateral relationship.


The initiative to hold this Dual Year between Mexico and the United Kingdom came out of high-level bilateral discussions. Initially, it was to be a predominantly cultural project and so the Chairman of the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, and the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries of the United Kingdom, Edward Vaizey, signed a Joint Declaration on 4th July 2013.

Subsequently, the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries decided to expand the scope of the Dual Year to other areas, including trade, investment, tourism, education, science and innovation. On the 11th of June, 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Jose Antonio Kuribreña Meade, and the then Foreign Secretary of the UK, William Hague, signed a Joint Declaration for the designation of 2015 as “the Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom” and the “United Kingdom in Mexico” in London. You can view the full text of the Joint Declaration here.

Welcome Message from Canciller José Antonio Meade

2015 will be an exceptional year for the relationship between Mexico and the United Kingdom. It will be a year of extensive, diverse and stimulating exchanges between Mexican and British people in terms of art, culture, science, the academic sector, business and tourism. With a diplomatic relationship going back almost 190 years, Mexico and the United Kingdom have strong ties that derive from our great similarities; the 2015 Dual Year Mexico-United Kingdom will continue to strengthen these bonds and create new relationships between our people.

The Dual Year is backed up with a strong cultural program that will be presented in different cities within the four countries of the United Kingdom. Through strategic design and an interdisciplinary model, Mexico will highlight its rich history and traditions and its contribution to contemporary art in the global scene; the dynamism of its creative industries through cinema, architecture and design as well as its commitment to the emerging talents of new generations.

During 2015 we will underpin Mexico’s relationship with the United Kingdom in the academic field in order to achieve sustained benefits in the long term.

Mexico and the United Kingdom will sign an Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees that will benefit around 170,000 highly qualified people in both countries. Through the Fund Newton we will foster scientific and academic exchange so as to take advantage of the strengths of both countries.

Mexico will be promoted as a dynamic country and an ideal destination for investment from the United Kingdom, particularly in areas of high interest such as energy. Forums for business will be set up, including the Business Forum, and reciprocal visits of business delegations will take place in order to promote opportunities to increase trade between our countries. Mexico will be a guest country at one of the most important tourism fairs in the world (The World Travel Market) and it will actively promote its gastronomy in the United Kingdom to show why this was designated as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.

2015 will mark the beginning of the construction of a legacy that will endure for the long term.


The activities that will take place throughout 2015 in Mexico and the United Kingdom seek to deepen the good relationship that already exists between the two countries in several fields and to support initiatives and innovative projects, in order to build a legacy that will underpin a more solid basis for mutual collaboration in the future.

Through this initiative, the Government of Mexico seeks to present to British society the diversity of Mexican cultural heritage, its rich history and strong traditions, whilst at the same time championing its economic and commercial dynamism as an exceptional location for trade, investment and tourism.


The Government of Mexico is preparing an ambitious programme that will seek to attract a variety of audiences in numerous British cities. The Year will focus on three major sectors:

  1. 1.

    Arts and Creative Industries: To showcase Mexico as a country with a rich and great history as well as a contemporary innovative and creative scene. This sector will include exhibitions of pieces from some of the greatest civilizations that flourished in pre-Hispanic Mexico, as well as examples of contemporary visual and plastic artists. Additionally, there will be literary and film festivals, performing arts, and concerts.

  2. 2.

    Education, Science and Innovation: To seek to strengthen the ties between our societies in order to exchange knowledge, technology and highly qualified human resources. In addition, to give new impetus to academic exchanges between both countries. This area will include seminars, workshops, academic residences, internships and forums for students and alumni.

  3. 3.

    Trade, Investment and Tourism: To motivate the economic sectors with the greatest potential in order to enhance our bilateral trade and to promote the flow of investment between both countries. It will include business forums, trade missions, seminars to provide business opportunities, as well as activities for the promotion of tourism and gastronomy.

Mexico-United Kingdom Relationship

The general coordination of the Dual Year lies on Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Each country has set up an organizing Committee, with members drawn from various institutions, which will put together its program of activities in the other country and shall be responsible for its implementation.

  • Mexico and the United Kingdom established diplomatic relations in 1826 through the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Trade.

  • Mexico and the United Kingdom share values such as free trade, democracy, concern over climate change and many other topics.

  • The United Kingdom is the sixth world economy (with a GDP of 2.535 billions of dollars) and Mexico the 14th (with a GDP of 1.258 billions of dollars).

  • The trade liberalization of both countries is shown in their trade balances: in 2013, the United Kingdom traded 1.197 billions of dollars (47% of its GDP) with the world, and Mexico 771 billions of dollars (61% of its GDP).

  • Among European Union countries, the United Kingdom is the sixth commercial partner with Mexico. In 2013 bilateral trade reached $3.946 million, reaching double the figure achieved before the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union entered into force in 2000.

  • The United Kingdom is the fourth source of investment into Mexico among European Union countries. Major investors from the United Kingdom in Mexico include: HSBC, Glaxo SmithKline, Astra-Zeneca, Provident, Royal and Sun Alliance. A number of Mexican companies are now present in the United Kingdom, including: CEMEX, Gruma, Mexichem and El Farolito.

  • Universities in the United Kingdom are ranked among the best in the world. For this reason, the UK is the second choice overseas destination for Mexican students, after the United States and before Spain.

  • British museums host many great world treasures and their galleries include masterpieces of all eras of history. During 2015, these institutions will be the setting for Mexican exhibitions.

  • United Kingdom tourists make up the third largest group of travellers to Mexico behind the United States and Canada.