Mexico and Argentina have signed an agreement aimed at improving political and economic cooperation.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his Argentine counterpart, Nestor Kirchner, signed the pact Monday in Mexico City.

Mr. Calderon said the agreement includes mechanisms for increasing trade between the two countries. He also said it will speed up Mexico's incorporation into Mercosur, a South American trade bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Mr. Kirchner said Argentina is totally in favor of Mexico's entry into Mercosur. He said Argentina regards Mexico's participation in the bloc as key to the development of Latin American countries and regional policies.

President Calderon said the new pact will also strengthen relations between Mexico and Argentina in the areas of politics, culture, technology and science.

He said the two countries are working toward a deal that will provide large benefits for their automobile industries.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.