By Maya M. Padillo

DAVAO CITY — Mexico is exploring the possibility of exporting Hass avocados and limoncito, a citrus-like fruit, to Davao City, according to Mexico Ambassador Gerardo Lozano.

Mr. Lozano told Businessworld at a welcome dinner in the Marco Polo Davao Monday that he sees expanded exports for the fruit as an opportunity to strengthen trade collaboration beyond Metro Manila.

“The level of relations between the Philippines and Mexico is a very good one as you know we have a very long history of relationship since the galleon time. But unfortunately in some cases the relationship has been concentrated in Manila and now we want to diversify the relationship with Davao City where we have a consulate,” Mr. Lozano said.

“He described the limoncito as a type of “green juicy lemon that is that is from Mexico. In Mexico we (also) have avocado fruits year round,” he said.

Mexican produce is mostly exported to neighboring countries like the United States.

Mr. Lozano said Mexico’s strategy for strengthening trade will include sister-city arrangements, which will also identify opportunities for collaboration in technical, scientific and cultural matters.

“This is my first time in Davao and a good opportunity to have a first view of the city. I met people from the chamber of commerce and discussed some business opportunities between Mexico and Davao City,” he said.

“We have a new government in Mexico City and now we are pushing it again. The new city government took office two months ago… I am sure it intends to finalize sister-city arrangements with negotiations before the end of the year,” he said.

Mr. Lozano said he views the current level of trade between Mexico and the Philippines as below potential, and invited Davao’s business leaders to visit Mexico to identify areas where trade can be expanded.

“I am expecting to receive before the end of the year a business delegation from Manila from various sectors with most of them interested in the food industry of Mexico,” Mr. Lozano said.

Mexico’s Honorary Consul to Davao, Malou G. Monteverde said one possibility for collaboration is agricultural research, with the Mexican side also interested in dealing with a coconut pest known as “kukulisap.”

Ms. Monteverde said the Davao Fashion Design Council (DFDC) is also hoping to exhibit in Manila and also to the foreign community there.