The first Mexico-Dublin business conference, which aims to promote Dublin as the gateway to Europe for Mexican and South American businesses, opened in Dublin today. 

Around 150 delegates are expected to attend the two day conference, organised by Dublin City Council.

At the opening of the conference, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn said that Dublin is home to nine of the world's top ten ICT companies and many of the euro zone's leading financial institutions.

Lord Mayor Quinn visited Mexico earlier in the year, where Mexico's Federal Secretary for Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, agreed to lead a delegation of Mexican business leaders to Dublin to explore opportunities to expand into Europe using the city Dublin as a base. 

"Trade between Ireland and Mexico is now worth about €1 billion and year and has the capacity to double in the next five years," Mr Quinn added. 

Mexico is Ireland's largest trading partner in Latin America. Ireland exported €690m worth of goods to Mexico in 2013, almost three times the value of our exports in 2000.  

The Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, Carlos García de Alba, said, "The fact that nearly 90 leading Mexican businesses are travelling to Dublin shows how important we regard the Irish market and its potential as a gateway to Europe". 

"Mexico is now the world's 14th largest economy with manufacturing exports playing a vital role. I have no doubt that this conference will play a very significant role in developing economic relations between our two countries."