Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Jamaica, Mexico commit to closer bilateral ties

Published:Wednesday | March 7, 2018 | 12:04 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Both the foreign affairs ministers of Jamaica and Mexico have welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), geared towards offering training and technical assistance to Jamaica’s petroleum industry.

The MOU was signed yesterday between the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the Petroleum Institute of Mexico, during the working visit of Mexico’s foreign secretary, Dr Luis Videgaray Caso, who arrived in the country on Monday.

It was hailed as an important step in bilateral relations between the two countries. Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said that Jamaica welcomed and encouraged Mexico’s leadership in helping to shape a stable, secure, peaceful and prosperous hemisphere.

“We acknowledged that energy security is a priority for both Jamaica and Mexico. We agreed, therefore, to intensify our cooperation in this critical area, including petroleum exploration and exploitation,” Johnson Smith said at yesterday’s press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

“Indeed our countries have had a long history of cooperation in energy dating back to the historic 1980 San José Accord, which supplied oil at discounted prices to Central American and Caribbean countries,” she said.

3D SEISMIC SURVEYS

Under the San José Accord, upward of 15 countries benefited from oil sold under favourable terms and which were administered by Venezuela and Mexico, and, more recently, the PCJ announced the first-ever 3D seismic surveys for oil and gas in Jamaica’s offshore with the express hope of finding a commercially viable reservoir of oil and natural gas.

In the meantime, Videgaray said that the energy sector was a huge area for cooperation and that the transformed sector in Mexico under the leadership of President Enrique Pena Nieto now affords the opportunity for his country to work with Jamaica.

“Today we are signing an MOU between our Mexican Petroleum Institute and the Jamaican authority to focus on a very specific area, which is refining and the transfer of state-of-the-art technologies in refining to make Jamaica’s energy supply more flexible,” he noted.

He said that Mexico wanted to continue exploring opportunities in area of energy and which is something that will be a big chunk of plans going forward.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com