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Study: Mexican wages fall below Chinese levels

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying, left, watches as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, right, signs the guest book before their official talks at Government House in Hong Kong on Friday April 5, 2013. Enrique Pena Nieto arrived in Hong Kong on a trip aimed at deepening economic ties and widening relations with the Asia-Pacific region. (AP Photo / Dale de la Rey)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico is looking to penetrate the Chinese market after a new report suggested that Mexican labor costs have fallen below those of China.

President Enrique Pena Nieto visited Hong Kong on Friday, and said "I am convinced that Mexican products should take advantage of the dynamism of China's markets."

Just a decade ago, Mexico's prospect of exporting much to China seemed distant. Mexican average labor costs were then almost double China's.

But a report by a chief economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch this week estimated that Mexico's labor costs are now 19.6 percent lower than China's.

The study by chief economist Carlos Capistran cites the bank's own estimates and official data indicating that a big increase in China's costs have turned the balance.