Signing of a Bilateral Investment Treaty between Mexico and Iceland, June 25, 2005.
Minister of Economy, Mr Fernando Canales, other distinguished guests,
It gives me pleasure to sign - on behalf of Iceland – this very important agreement between our two countries. This agreement has been in the making for a number of years now – first being initiated by our negotiators in 2001 after a short period of negotiations.
I do hope that the ratification process in our respective countries will be swift so that our investors can, as soon as possible, start to reap the benefits from our work.
And what are these benefits ?
For Mexican investors who might want to explore possibilities in Iceland, it is worth knowing that Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area, an integration agreement between the European Union and three EFTA countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The EEA is a market of about 500 million consumers ensuring the free movement of goods, capital and services within the member countries. So Iceland is not just a small market of less than half a million people, but a part of a much larger market. For export-oriented companies, the customs-free access to the internal market of the EU is therefore surely an asset.
And Iceland has more to offer.
Iceland is well endowed with natural resources, offering energy to power intensive industries at very competitive prices. And corporate income taxes are but 18%.
And for Icelandic investors – those already operating in your beautiful country as well as those thinking of investments here – I am sure that this agreement, that we will sign now, will be an impetus to further exploits.