David Cameron has met the world’s richest man during his visit to Mexico to try to boost Britain’s trade links with the emerging economic giant.
Telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim – reported to be worth upwards of £50bn – was among business and government leaders who attended a reception with the Prime Minister in Mexico City.
Mr Cameron has set a target of doubling bilateral trade and investment with Mexico from £2.1bn in 2010 to £4.2bn by 2015.
He is making his first visit to Latin America as PM and is the first British premier in more than a decade to visit Mexico.
Travelling with him are a 25-strong business delegation, featuring senior executives of UK-based giants like Diageo, Rolls-Royce and Virgin Atlantic.
Yesterday, Mr Cameron was due to visit the Mexican Stock Exchange, where he will meet chief executive Luis Tellez and up to eight senior Mexican investors.
He will be given a formal welcome to the city by Mexican President Felipe Calderon – soon to step down after completing his six-year term in office.
The two leaders are expected to discuss UK-Mexico bilateral relations, as well as foreign affairs, development and climate change.
The visit comes at the end of two days of diplomatic talks over the global economy and the eurozone crisis at the G20 summit in the resort town of Los Cabos, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Mr Cameron has made it clear that he regards building trade links with emerging economies like Mexico as a vital part of his strategy to restore growth in the UK.
“It may be that the eurozone crisis is going to continue for some time, in which case the UK must do all it can to put its own house in order and link up with the fastest-growing parts of the world,” he said.
Mr Cameron used Tuesday’s reception to spread his message that Britain is a great place to do business, said aides.